"Ayatsuji's brilliant and richly atmospheric puzzle will appeal to fans of golden age whodunits... Every word counts, leading up to a jaw-dropping but logical reveal" — Publishers Weekly
A hugely enjoyable, page-turning murder mystery sure to appeal to fans of Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz, and Agatha Christie, with one of the best and most-satisfying conclusions you'll ever read. A classic in Japan, available in English for the first time.
From The New York Times Book Review:
"Read Yukito Ayatsuji’s landmark mystery, The Decagon House Murders, and discover a real depth of feeling beneath the fiendish foul play.
Taking its cues from Agatha Christie’s locked-room classic And Then There Were None, the setup is this: The members of a university detective-fiction club, each nicknamed for a favorite crime writer (Poe, Carr, Orczy, Van Queen, Leroux and — yes — Christie), spend a week on remote Tsunojima Island, attracted to the place, and its eerie 10-sided house, because of a spate of murders that transpired the year before. That collective curiosity will, of course, be their undoing.
As the students approach Tsunojima in a hired fishing boat, 'the sunlight shining down turned the rippling waves to silver. The island lay ahead of them, wrapped in a misty veil of dust,' its sheer, dark cliffs rising straight out of the sea, accessible by one small inlet. There is no electricity on the island, and no telephones, either.
A fresh round of violent deaths begins, and Ayatsuji’s skillful, furious pacing propels the narrative. As the students are picked off one by one, he weaves in the story of the mainland investigation of the earlier murders. This is a homage to Golden Age detective fiction, but it’s also unabashed entertainment."
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, which inspired the club featured in The Decagon House Murders and has nurtured many of Japan's greatest crime writers.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. It is the first of Ayatsuji's works to be translated into English.
**One of the 20 of the Best Classic Murder Mystery Books of All Time from Town & Country Magazine**
"His celebration of traditional whodunits plays with the mystery genre in a wonderfully self-referential way... With each new murder, the remaining members of the group must use their knowledge of the genre to find the killer and try to stay alive." — Esquire, The 50 Best Mysteries of All Time
"A terrific mystery, a classic of misdirection very much in the manner of Agatha Christie or John Dickson Carr'" — Washington Post
"Behold, the perfect escapist drug! If I could crush this book into a powder and snort it, I would." — Vulture
"A real page-turner... Highly recommended" — Classic Mystery
"Ayatsuji's brilliant and richly atmospheric puzzle will appeal to fans of golden age whodunits... Every word counts, leading up to a jaw-dropping but logical reveal" — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A stunner of a plot, with an ending which I simply could not believe when it was first revealed... Rivals Soji Shimada's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders for sheer audacity and ingenuity" — At the Scene of the Crime
"A knowing tribute to classic crime, it features all manner of puzzles, including locked rooms, jigsaws and magic tricks." — Mark Sanderson, The Times
"highly ingenious" — Laura Wilson, Guardian
"The Decagon House Murders, is a thrilling homage to Christie’s And Then There Were None, following a group of amateur sleuths on a trip to a lonely island, the site of several unsolved murders. In the opening chapter, one character remarks: “Enough gritty realism please! What mystery novels need are a great detective, a mansion, a shady cast of residents, bloody murders, impossible crimes and never-before-seen-tricks played by the murder.” It’s impossible not to agree." — The Guardian
“Aimed to be a murder mystery that readers can solve as they read, this book is gripping and has fun bits such as characters having nicknames based on American and European mystery writers, and of course, maps!” — United by Pop