Tuesday, May 30, 2017

番外編: The Ginza Ghost Released

I think I did the same back with the release of The Decagon House Murders, but I should really learn not to announce everything in advance in the announcement of the announcement. It's nowadays common practice to announce when you're going to make a major announcement, or at least it's like that in the videogame industry, but I guess the trick is not *not* give away everything during the pre-announcement.

So to be completely honest, I have little to add to my previous post on The Ginza Ghost, but for the fact that is actually released now, in both digital and good old paper form, and available through the usual channels like Amazon (questions about procuring the book are best directed to LRI by the way). This short story collection, translated by me and published by Locked Room International, collects ten fantastic impossible crimes, as well as two "bonus" stories from the hand of the "forgotten" writer Keikichi OOSAKA. The man was a talented master of the short puzzle mystery story active in the thirties and forties of the previous century, but the sociopolitical background leading up to World War II never gave him a chance to make a name. It was long after his demise in the war that he was rediscovered, and when fellow authors and readers alike started to be amazed by his imaginative and atmospheric tales of mystery. The stories he tells are set in a Japan that is still in transition, that is combining the traditional with the modern. From a mysterious death at a modern department store and a disappearing car from a leisure highway to a horrifying serial murder deep down inside a mine seemingly committed by a ghost: OOSAKA manages to create highly original detective stories by mixing his creative mind with surprisingly real, down-to-earth settings that result in something magic. For people familiar with EDOGAWA Rampo, a contemporary of OOSAKA, you might be surprised at how different this collection is, and how the stories prove to be a genuine classic puzzlers.

Publishers Weekly has a review here, while fellow blogger (and proof-reader) JJ was kind enough to write a review over at The Invisible Event too.

Anyway, I think that if you enjoyed The Decagon House Murders and/or The Moai Island Puzzle, you'll definitely love this book too. The stories are much older, yes, but they form important points on a line that goes from honkaku (orthodox) puzzle plot mysteries directly to the modern shin honkaku (new orthodox) mysteries.

And that's it for today's service announcement. I hope you'll enjoy The Ginza Ghost!

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