Shueisha Bunko

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Masquerade Eve

Author.Keigo Higashino
page:304
Publication:2014/11/26

Naomi Yamagishi, a front desk clerk at Hotel Cortesia Tokyo, is sent to its newly opened sister hotel, Hotel Cortesia Osaka, as a trainer. Kosuke Nitta, a cocksure elite detective of Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Division 1, is investigating the murder of a college professor in the Hachioji Minami precinct. Associate Professor Sadayuki Nambara uses a business trip to Kyoto as his alibi, which is soon disproved, but he refuses to say what he was really doing. He finally admits to spending the night at Cortesia Osaka with a certain woman but will not reveal her name. Why is he so adamant about hiding her identity? Nitta orders his partner, a female police officer of the precinct, to go to Osaka. He does not expect her to uncover anything significant, but she comes back to Tokyo with an important clue provided by Naomi of Cortesia Osaka. The case comes close to getting solved, however…
Naomi and Nitta worked together in the author’s previous novel Masquerade Hotel. Masquerade Eve is an ingenious novella about a mystery in which the partners in the undercover operation in Masquerade Hotel unknowingly cross paths before they actually meet.
Naomi is finally assigned to her long-sought position at the front desk. She sees people coming and going through the hotel and the mess they get into because of their masks— “Sorezore no Kamen”
Kosuke Nitta has just been posted in Division 1. An entrepreneur who owns numerous eating and drinking establishments is murdered on the night of White Day. He and his partner, a surly senior detective, are misled by the suspect’s mask, but what is the truth they discover in the end?—“Ruukii Tojo”
Naomi, who returns to Tokyo, checks in a masked author who is about to lock himself up in a room to write his manuscript. But checking in at the same time is a suspicious group that trails the author. What will happen now?—“Kamen to Fukumen”
A mystery made up of these four linked stories.

 

[Editor’s comment]

A series of mysterious murders in Tokyo! The police find a code from which they deduce the next crime scene—the exclusive Hotel Cortesia Tokyo—but they still have no clue about the suspect or the target. Detective Kosuke Nitta of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department Division 1 is assigned to an undercover operation, posing as a front desk clerk at the hotel. Competent hotelier Naomi Yamagishi is chosen to train him. As suspicious guests flow in and out of the hotel, Naomi and Nitta form a partnership to reveal the truth—a masterpiece of a mystery, Masquerade Hotel.
Anticipating the release of its bunko edition, its prequel, Masquerade Eve, has been published also in bunko edition.
Needless to say, it is a story from before Naomi Yamagishi and Kosuke Nitta meet in Masquerade Hotel. Naomi has just been assigned her long-sought position at the front desk and Nitta in Division 1. They both commit blunders and have bitter experiences. But it is a story of their professional growth.
Hats off to Mr. Keigo Higashino, one of the greatest mystery writers of our time. Naomi and Nitta are involved in the same case, and they both play important roles, but the story concludes without their knowing of each other’s existence. How can this be possible? The author responds to us readers’ hope of reading such a story with Masquerade Eve. Many episodes in this book are linked to Masquerade Hotel, so read them both and double your enjoyment.
It kicks off the Masquerade series, which Mr. Higashino hopes to make his “new trademark.” Revel in the masquerade of an exquisite tale woven by masks, guises, and truths.

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Tomogui (Cannibals)

Author.Shinya Tanaka
page:208
Publication:2013/1/18

Summary
July 1988... Seventeen-year-old Tohma Shinogaki lives with his father, Madoka, and his lover, Kotoko, in a rural town called Kawabe. Tohma's biological mother, Jinko, who left the Shinogaki family without legally divorcing Madoka, lives across the river from their house and runs a fish shop. Jinko has no hand on the end of her right limb. She was trapped under a burning house in an air raid during the war.
Jinko had left Madoka because of his violent behavior during sex. Although he didn't raise his hand against her while she was pregnant with Tohma, a year after he was born, the violence started over again. Even after Jinko left him and Kotoko moved in, Madoka's behavior remained unchanged.
Tohma has a girlfriend named Chigusa, a childhood friend who is a year older than him. They had promised to wait until Tohma's 17th birthday to have sex, but the promise was broken within a month, and they have already lost count of how many times they've done it.
Tohma makes Chigusa have sex with him even though she doesn't enjoy it—it is still only painful for her—but he feels his lustful father's blood running through his veins and is tortured by the thought. He is terrified that one day he is going to be like his father and start acting violent during sex.
Tohma, who tries to convince himself that he is not like his father who beats up his girlfriend, is disturbed by the compulsion for sex and violence churning inside him. Then one day, he finds it impossible to suppress the urge and ends up strangling Chigusa.
No longer able to deny his father in him, Tohma falls into despair and yearns for Chigusa, who refuses to see him ever since that day.
Then the incident happens on the day of the town festival amidst a collision of various emotions—
A story of an inescapable lust for blood and sex. The winner of the 146th Akutagawa Prize that has caused a big stir in the media.

 

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Shirayuki-hime Satsujin Jiken (Murder of Snow White)

Author.Kanae Minato
page:320
Publication:2014/2/20

A beautiful businesswoman is brutally murdered in a regional city, and people start pointing their fingers at her female coworker. When discussing the accused, her colleagues, former schoolmates, family, and people in her hometown all have different impressions of her. The Internet and gossip magazines irresponsibly spread rumors about her, and as the stories get exaggerated, her true character becomes increasingly obscured. Is she really a wicked witch, or…?

 
 

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Lucky Girl

Author.Mami Sato
page:184
Publication:2014/3/20

Mami Sato, the athlete with a prosthetic leg who contributed to Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games as the first speaker in the final presentation. Her childhood as a rambunctious girl, and college life when she devoted herself to cheerleading. Then losing her right leg below the knee to bone cancer, overcoming despair, and facing forward to start running again— A moving memoir by Sato, a 3-time Paralympian still on a pursuit of her dream.

 

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Mozu no Sakebu Yoru (The Night of the Crying Shrike)

Author.Go Ohsaka
page:456
Publication:2014/3/20

The amnesic man found on Cape Koroh at the tip of the Noto Peninsula is identified as Kazuhiko Shingai by a woman who claims to be his younger sister. Extremists set of a bomb in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Captain Naotake Kuraki’s wife gets killed. And Sergeant Miki Akeboshi, who had been tailing Shingai, suspected of being a terrorist of the Homei Group… The men’s fateful clash amidst the intricate web of interpersonal connections. The frightening, secret plot in the backdrop. A full-length hard-boiled mystery.

 
 

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Ore no Obasan (My Aunt)

Author.Mitsuharu Sagawa
page:224
Publication:2013/3/19

One day, Yosuke is informed of his father’s arrest. To pay back the money his father embezzled, Yosuke drops out of his elite middle school in Tokyo and starts working at Hobosha, an orphanage his mother’s older sister runs in Sapporo. Yosuke is perplexed by the sudden change in his lifestyle, but surrounded by his formidable aunt and individualistic colleagues, he starts discovering the essence of “being alive.” A novel about the coming to age of sometimes-sensitive but tough-spirited boys. Winner of the 26th Tsubota Joji Literary Award.

 

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Indigo no Yoru (The Night of Club Indigo)

Author.Miaki Kato
page:336
Publication:2013/4/19

Club Indigo—a host club in Shibuya where young men who look like DJs and dancers entertain the guests in a dance club-like venue. It is a popular place, with its casual ambiance and unique hosts, but the owner, Akira, and her employees are often running around trying to solve mysteries that they find themselves mixed up in. A new edition in the popular mystery series Indigo no Yoru, including new short stories and a lot of extra features!

 
 

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Shusen no Empera Heika wo Osukui-nasaimashi (Emperor, Please Save His Imperial Highness)

Author.Shiro Okamoto
page:376
Publication:2013/5/17

Post-World War II, when the emperor of Japan was being questioned for his responsibility in war crimes, General Bonner Fellers submitted a memorandum to Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces MacArthur recommending that the emperor be exonerated. In doing so, he solicited advice from people he trusted, one of which was Michi Kawai. Kawai, a devout Christian, was an educator with a passion to raise the level of education for women striving for peace. A true chronicle about their fateful encounter and the bond between these two figures who led post-war Japan down the path it took.

 

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Harukanaru Mizuno Oto (Sound of Distant Water)

Author.Yuka Murakami
page:440
Publication:2012/11/20

"When I die, I'd like my ashes scattered in the Sahara Desert." To grant Shu's last wish, four people head for Morocco. Hisako, uncertain about the direction of her current romantic relationship... Jean-Claude, a gay Frenchman terrified of impending old age... Childhood friends Kosuke and Yui, who on impulse slept together and haven't been able to come to terms with it... How deep and strong is love? What does it mean to be alive? A poignant full-length novel about different forms of love.

 
 

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Kobai no Hana (Flower of Light)

Author.Shusuke Michio
page:296
Publication:2012/10/19

A white butterfly quietly watches over the world of humans filled with light and shadow— A secret from one summer a long time ago of a man who lives quietly with his mother suffering dementia... A crime in the dark of the night committed by a young brother and sister... A boy bonds with a girl and makes a fragile promise for her... The cold, dismal scenery locked up deep in the heart is gradually enveloped in warm light. Six stories that all seem to connect about the ephemeral yet beautiful world. The winner of the 23rd Yamamoto Shugoro Prize.

 

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Nanimokamo Yuutsuna Yoruni (In the Night When Everything is Depressing)

Author.Fuminori Nakamura
page:200
Publication:2012/2/17

"I"—a corrections officer who grew up in an orphanage—is in charge of the 20-year-old Yamai, a prisoner awaiting trial for the murder of a husband and wife. Yamai will be sentenced to death at the end of the one-week appeal period, but he harbors a secret he won't discuss. The inner confusion of the narrator, who feels he shares something similar with Yamai... His memories of a friend who committed suicide... His relationship with a beloved mentor... A full-length novel by an Akutagawa Prize-winning author that candidly contemplates serious crimes, capital punishment, life and death, and hope.

 
 

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