ARC Review: The Decagon House Murders or a compelling mystery

Hello everyone! I cannot believe it, but I am back with another review. It would be the last of this month (oh my, we are almost done with October!) but I am really excited to share it with you all, because I really enjoyed this book!

Thanks to Edelweiss and the Editor. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Decagon House Murders
Author: Yukito Ayatsuji
Expected Publication Date: December 3rd, 2020
Page Count: 224

The members of a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly, unsolved multiple murder the year before. They’re looking forward to investigating the crime, putting their passion for solving mysteries to practical use, but before long there is a fresh murder, and soon the club-members realise they are being picked off one-by-one. The remaining amateur sleuths will have to use all of their murder-mystery expertise to find the killer before they end up dead too.
This is a playful, loving and fiendishly plotted homage to the best of golden age crime. It will delight any mystery fan looking to put their little grey cells to use.

Let me start from the ending: I really enjoyed this book. It is an homage to the”golden age” of crime stories, and you can see it in a lot of different things: it takes a lot of inspirations from And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (and they refers to it even in the story, it was just great!), and the characters all have nicknames from the writers of the most famous crime stories, and it reminded me also a bit of The Tokio Zodiac Murders. Shimada, a character who has the same name as the author of this last book (and it is not a nickname, so I don’t know how much it is chance, and how much is the author paying his respects to another great writer) remembered me quite a lot of the detective in The Tokio Zodiac Murders. It is not that they are really alike as characters, but they have something in their way of being that is quite similar.
All these things can be a drag, but the author manages to unite all of them and create something that would capture you and would make you guess alongside his characters. I loved these constant references to other books and characters and writers. They made this reading more unique, instead of something unoriginal. And hence I appreciated it a lot.

Let me tell you something else: I love thriller, even if I am not a big fan of the newest ones, but I don’t read a lot of crime stories. It is not that I don’t love them. I have loved some of Christie’s books, for example (even if I didn’t love all of her books I have read), and from time to time I tried other authors. Usually I really enjoy them, but they are not my main reading material. So maybe for you all the things are obvious from the start of the book, I cannot say. But I can say that for me the culprit was a surprise. I couldn’t believe it! I did a double-take when the author give us the guilty person. I was just… wow!
Maybe you would know who this person was way before the big revelation, it is possible, but… but not me. I was dumbstruck! I couldn’t believe it!

Those two were the selling points for me, and I have to say that once I started reading I couldn’t put the book down! I was so happy to be so involved in the story. And it was strange, in a way, because the really captivating part was the plot. Usually I am a more characters driven reader, but this time all the merit goes to the plot. It is not that the characters were bad. I appreciated a lot Poe and Ellery, and Van and Leroux weren’t bad. Maybe I was expecting to like more the “detectives” but I cannot really complain. And another great thing is that the sea is like a character in there, always present, and I liked it a lot.

And that’s all for today! Have you read this book? Or do you have it on your radar? Let me know!

Happy reading!
S.

6 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Decagon House Murders or a compelling mystery

  1. Pingback: October Wrap-Up!

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