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Book Review : The Mill House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts on The Mill House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji.

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pushkin Press; 1st edition (30 Mar. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1782278338
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1782278337

Every year, a small group of acquaintances pay a visit to the remote, castle-like Mill House, home to the reclusive Fujinuma Kiichi, son of a famous artist, who has lived his life behind a rubber mask ever since a disfiguring car accident. This year, however, the visit is disrupted by gruesome murder, a baffling disappearance and the theft of a priceless painting.

The brilliant Kiyoshi Shimada arrives on the scene, but as he investigates the seemingly impossible events of that evening, death strikes again, and again…

Can Shimada get to the truth before the killer gets to him? And can you solve the mystery of the Mill House Murders before he does?

The Mill House Murders Review

The Mill House Murders is a translated Japanese detective mystery, originally written in 1988.

A small group visit a remote house each year, once owned by a famous artist. Now the house belongs to his son, Fujinuma Kiichi, who now lives behind a rubber mask due to a car accident.

Set as a dual timeline of exactly one year apart with a detective Shimada investigating theft, a disappearance and a series of murders. The year before also included murders which Shimada was desperate to solve, to save his friend.

I enjoyed the mystery of The Mill House Murders and the descriptions of this interesting house, especially the hints of a secret room.

This story is a cleverly written locked room mystery.  Highly recommended.

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About the Author

Yukito Ayatsuji (born 1960) is a Japanese writer of mystery and horror novels. He started writing as a member of the Kyoto University Mystery Club, a society dedicated to the writing of fair play mysteries inspired by the Golden Age greats. The Decagon House Murders was Ayatsuji’s debut and is considered a landmark crime novel in Japan, where it revived the traditional puzzle mystery format and inspired a new generation of writers. The Water Mill House Murders is the sequel, again starring the great detective Kiyoshi Shimada.

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