No quotes in the introduction of this post? That means service announcements!
Longtime readers of the blog know that I'm a big fan of ARISUGAWA Alice's Student Alices series. I've reviewed all of the books of the series in the past, and I consider the adventures of the student Alice and his merry comrades of the Eito University Mystery Club as one of the most entertaining, and intellectually most challenging mystery series. The books mix young-adult themes with Ellery Queen-like tricky plots, complete with a Challenge to the Reader. In particular, I've praised 1989's Kotou Puzzle ("The Island Puzzle") on more than one occassion as the book where Arisugawa in fact outdoes Queen at his own game. It has everything: a hunt for a buried treasure on an island with dozens of moai statues, a locked room murder, a Challenge to the Reader, and an incredible finale where the detective, Mr. Egami, points out who the murderer is based on a very satisfying chain of deductions.
So I'm more than thrilled to announce that after the critical succes of The Decagon House Murders, Locked Room International will be bringing you another Japanese mystery classic: ARISUGAWA Alice's The Moai Island Puzzle is scheduled to be released coming June. And once again, I had the honor of translating the book. The title is slightly different from the original title, but hey, now it's more Ellery Queen-like! Like with The Decagon House Murders, I have to admit I feel a lot easier about praising the book on the blog now (as the translator), knowing that I had already raved about the book as a crazy fanboy in the past already! So not as the translator, but simply as someone who realllllly enjoyed the book, I say: definitely check it out, as it's simply one of my favorite Japanese mystery novels.
Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, which I hope is the first of more positive reviews to follow. My own review of the Japanese original can be found at this link (written many years before I knew I would translate the book), and my we-write-English-reviews-of-Japanese-mystery-novels collegues over at My Japanese bookshelf and On the Threshold of Chaos also have reviews.
OOSAKA Keikichi's 1936 short story The Cold Night's Clearing (original title: Kan no Yobare). OOSAKA was a contemporary of writers like Rampo and KOUGA Saburou, specializing in impossible crimes. And I'm almost afraid to say it, but Rampo had always wanted to be published in EQMM, but because of me, both OOSAKA and KOUGA succeeded in that before him... Sorry. Anyway, The Cold Night's Clearing is based on a translation I had posted on my blog earlier, with some additional revising/editing. It's an impossible crime story about a murdering Santa Claus who disappears into the sky....or something like that. Now I think about it, it's not really a story for a May issue of any magazine, though I guess it fits in the "All Nations" theme. Anyway, it's a great story no mater the weather outside. So take a look in the issue if you're interested.
And that's it for the service announcements today