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The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,838 Ratings  ·  343 Reviews
“Intricately constructed and entertainingly exotic.”—The Japan Times

Astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective Kiyoshi Mitarai must in one week solve a mystery that has baffled Japan for 40 years. Who murdered the artist Umezawa, raped and killed his daughter, and then chopped up the bodies of six others to create Azoth, the supreme woman? With maps, charts, and
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by IBC Books (first published December 1st 1981)
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Sam Quixote
Pre-war Japan. A deranged artist called Heikichi Umezawa claims to be possessed by the Devil. He plans one final masterwork: the creation of Azoth, the supreme woman. How to make her? Chop up the bodies of his six daughters, selecting their most perfect parts, and stitching the pieces together into a whole.

But before he can begin, he’s brutally murdered. A few days later the six daughters are also killed and their bodies chopped up, per Umezawa’s plan. Who killed Umezawa? Who killed the six gir
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is being released under the new ‘Pushkin Vertigo’ imprint – which aims to re-release international crime classics written in the years between the 1920’s and 1970’s. “The Tokyo Zodiac Murders,” is the first of over two dozen novels featuring Kiyoshi Mitarai and is written in the popular Japanese Honkaku subgenre of mysteries; very much focused on plotting and clues and where the reader is drawn into participating in solving the crime before the detective.

In some ways, this book remin
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my second novel where the author challenge readers explicitly to guess the culprit. The first one is The Egyptian Cross Mystery. And coincidentally this novel is my first Soji Shimada's novel that I've ever read. After read this novel, I wish there are other Soji Shimada's novel translated into English.

Highly recommended for readers who want to guess the culprit. Although I found some minor clues seems useful if the reader knows pop-culture of Japanese at mid 1930 era, but the essence of
Sinta Nisfuanna
Mutilasi korban ditemukan di enam tempat berbeda dengan metode yang membingungkan. Dan, di awalan saya sudah dibuat pusing mencerna segala keterkaitan zodiac, unsur alkali korban-korban yang akan dirancang sebagai karya 'sempurna' bernama Azoth.

Berlanjut dengan bagian analisa kasus tak terpecahkan #TheTokyoZodiacMurders antara Kiyoshi dan Kazumi. Bagian yang kusuka dari novel terbitan asli tahun 1987. Bab ini mengajak pembacanya ikut tebak-tebak metode dan cara pembunuh merealisasikan mutilasi d
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Вчера приключих "Зодиакалните убийства" и това което мога да кажа е - УАУ! Макар да почна малко трудно, заради ситния шрифт и форматирането, мистерията не ме пусна до последната страничка. Приятно се изненадах от предизвикателствата, които Шимада Соджи ми предостави, като това ме мотивира сам да разгадая мистерията. Уви, непосилна задача за мен. С нетърпение чаках края на книгата, където мистерията ще бъде разгадана. Четях със зейнала уста и осъзнавах как отговорът през цялото време е бил пред с ...more
Minh Nhân Nguyễn
4 sao

Truyện hấp dẫn, tình tiết ly kỳ nhưng nói về điểm không thích thì cũng không ít: đoạn đầu đọc khá chán, khô khan, hơi nhiều chi tiết và nhân vật (mà thật ra cũng không đóng vai trò gì quan trọng cho lắm ngoài làm cho sách rối rắm thêm và tốn nhiều thời gian đọc.)

Đoạn điều tra cũng khá hay, nhưng kết thúc làm mình hơi thất vọng. Một phần vì mình đã biết sơ bí mật của nó thông qua bộ Kindaichi rồi. Một phần cũng do bản chất của nó quá đơn giản, cộng với bối cảnh, cách gây án cho mình cảm giác
When Raymond Chandler wrote his somewhat disparaging essay on mystery novels, perhaps he hadn't been exposed to works by writers such as Shimada.

For the ingenuity, meta jabs and the evocation of a bygone era where 'crime solving' was not all CSI and procedurals, 5 stars. It's just absolutely riveting and this must fall under Poirot's favourite kind of case, one that's primarily concerned with imagination and analysis, for all the fresh clues had been set in print articles, unavailable for furthe
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The author Soji Shimada, has been known to readers as The King Of Dismemberment in the realm of Japanese crime/detective novels, it is his first long detective novel and it is damn impressive (the story has its flaws, but I'm still impressed).

I look forward to re-read this book some day.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Baca buku ini serasa kayak baca versi novel dari komik Detektif Conan. Atau kayak baca novel Sherlock Holmes versi Jepang, lengkap dengan Dr.Watson versinya sendiri. And since I'm a very huge fan of that kinda story, rasanya jadi kayak nemu harta karun deh, heheheh.

Jadi novel ini menceritakan tentang kasus misterius dan sensasional yang terjadi 40 tahun sebelum 'masa kini' dalam novel, yang settingnya sendiri sekitar tahun 70an. Kenapa sensasional? Dan kenapa juga misterius? Karena oh karena, ka

Nancy Oakes
Oh my! This is probably the best mystery novel I've read all year -- it is the kind of book that I hope to find every time I pick up a new mystery. I do have to admit to a fondness for Japanese authors, especially mystery writers, and this particular book is an example of why. I have to find other works by this author in translation if they exist. I could NOT put this book down at all once I started.

The story begins some time back in the 1930s, and its focal point is a bizarre case known as the
Aug 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Practically unreadable - the first part is a sick piece of murderous misogyny, the rest - a too-long conversation between two people trying to solve a closed-room murder mystery 40 years after the fact, by meticulously dismantling inch after inch of the technical details of the murder. This you cannot possibly follow unless you have a phenomenal memory and an unlikely level of tolerance for boredom. Sorry, quitting now, before it's too late and I drown in an ocean of mind-numbing technicalities.
Minh Trang
Một câu chuyện hết sức nhạt nhẽo. Mình thật không hiểu lý do vì sao nó nổi tiếng và là best-seller.

Tiền đề của vụ án, với câu chuyện về Azoth nghe khá hấp dẫn. Nhưng câu chuyện có quá nhiều chi tiết thừa, quá nhiều nhân vật không cần thiết. Tác giả để nhân vật mất rất nhiều thời gian loanh quanh lạc lối, rồi cuối cùng chỉ mất 2 tiếng đồng hồ để giải quyết bí ẩn 40 năm. Phi lý! :))

Nói chung, mình thấy nếu là trinh thám Nhật thì chỉ nên đọc sách của Keigo tiên sinh :))
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: japan, crime-mystery
Ranked #3 in the 2012 Tozai Mystery List (, this book is extremely popular in Japan. It is a locked-room mystery (in part) and a logic-puzzlemwhere ALL the clues are given to the reader in advance. I found it rather dry and not terribly interesting.
Phước Thống
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chưa xem Kindaichi :v

Vẻ huyền bí của chiêm tinh học và thiên văn học mang đến sự hấp dẫn kì lạ cho những vụ án mạng trong quyển sách này.
Елис Емин
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Четиридесет години една криминална загадка мъчи цяла Япония. Художникът Умедзава Хейкичи решава да създаде перфектната жена. За целта смята да убие шестте момичета, живеещи под неговия покрив – четирите си дъщери и двете племеннички. Всяка част от тялото на някоя от тях ще послужи за направата на Азот – съвършената жена. Хейкичи подробно описва как смята да извърши всяко едно от убийствата – ръководен от строг астрологичен порядък. Шестте момичета наистина
Fitria Mayrani
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Huaaaahhhh horeeeeee... Akhirnya bisa kelar juga... *SujudSyukur* #NARIPERUT

Membeli buku ini tanpa melihat reviewnya di goodreads. Ini buku terjemahan dan belum banyak goodreaders indonesia yang baca. Alhamdulillah tidak mengecewakan. Jadi ceritanya nih tentang detektif gitu. Mirip Sherlock Holmes kalo boleh saya bilang. Saya pribadi memang penyuka buku jenis ini. Kisah-kisah detektif itu ending dan ceritanya nggak bisa ketebak, that's why I like it!

Konon kabarnya Pembunuhan Zodiac Tokyo ini kis
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is impressive, considering it was first published in 1987 and is still enjoyable to read after more than 20 years has passed. At first I thought this is a murder/thriller story, but apparently it's more a murder-mystery, and it gives me more curiosity than thrill.

Apart from the terrific storyline, I find the abundance of facts stated in the story is kind of annoying, but I understand that it is necessary for the readers to have enough (well, maybe too much) information to be able to s
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Отделни моменти от тази история са добре известни на почитателите на жанра - имам предвид предизвикателствата със "заключената отвътре врата". Тук така популярният Едогава Ранпо наистина е изиграл голяма роля. Други моменти за много хора ще изглеждат нови...

Бих дала на издателство "Милениум" хиляда положителни точки за абсолютно цялата работа по тази книга, като изключим личния ми проблем с миниатюрния шрифт... Ей! Ще взема да сложа по-дебели очила заради вас! Следващата ви японска книга ще я по
If you can make it through the exceedingly dry first third of this puzzler, the rest of this book is a real treat. I did figure "who dunnit" and more or less how before the big reveal but that did not in any way lessen my pleasure in this clever mystery. Bonus points for setting the much of the latter two-thirds of the book in picturesque Kyoto. Recommended for those who like old-fashioned locked room mysteries.
Dani Noviandi
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setelah Kudo, Hattori dan Kindaichi, Jepang kembali menelurkan seorang detektif muda amatir berbakat. Kiyoshi Mitarai, seorang astrolog dan peramal, adalah nama dari detektif tersebut. Mitarai kali ini bersama his-dr.Watson berusaha mengungkap kasus pembunuhan yang terjadi sekitar 40 tahun lalu, sekitar tahun 1930-an, sebuah kasus pembunuhan yang terkenal dengan nama Pembunuhan Zodiak Tokyo. Berbeda dengan detektif-detektif di atas, Mitarai ini muncul dalam bentuk novel, bukan komik, sehingga di ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honkaku is a subgenre of Japanese Crime Fiction that came into being sometime in the early 1920's. The original definition was "a detective story that mainly focuses on the process of a criminal investigation and values the entertainment derived from pure logical reasoning". The term was coined to clearly differentiate Honkaku mystery fiction from other subgenres and it was used for both local and Western writers, although a distinct Japanese form became increasingly common in the 1950's.

The story starts in 1936 Japan. Heikichi Umezawa is an artist who is literally surrounded by women. He lives with his second wife Masako, two of her daughters (Akiko and Tomoko), his daughter by his first wife (Tokiko), his daughter by Masako (Yukiko), and his two nieces, Reiko and Nobuyo. Masako's other daughter, Kazue, who is divorced, lives on her own. None of them realizes just how deranged Heikichi has become. He fantasizes about creating the perfect women, Azoth - with the bodies of his da ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
It was really charming. Not only the mystery but the detective itself. I'm a fan of suspense novel but not detective novel. And officially this novel is the first detective novel I've ever finished. It tells about the death of a loner artist, and six women from his family (his four daughters and two nieces).

The story starts with the last will of an artist named Heikichi Umezawa. In his last will he wrote about his obsession of creating a perfect woman. There, in his last will, he explained that
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that fancy gore and mystery
Recommended to Aya by: Prabowo Adi
Little Aya story: I met this book because a little convo that I had from my senior, Prabowo Adi. He reads books a lot and his reading preference mesmerized me. So, I was like, "may I borrow one of your books? Anything. Just surprise me". Then boom, he came with this one. I was expected an English book, but when I saw the cover I was like "okay, wicked" (YOU HAVE TO SEE THE BAHASA COVER OF THIS BOOK #coverbuybooks lol). So I started at September 17 and finished at October 5. Almost three weeks??? ...more
Jun Nguyễn
Nghe đồn đây là cuốn nhập môn của trinh thám Nhật nên cũng quyết tâm đọc lắm. Đọc rồi mới thấy nó hay thật, quả đúng như lời đồn (tin đồn cũng dựa trên 1 phần sự thật, mặc dù ít nhiều bị bóp méo nhé!)
Trước giờ không có ấn tượng tốt lắm với tiểu thuyết của Nhật, nhưng chắc là mình ăn phải gió gì mới đọc trúng những cuốn như vậy, với lại cũng học được bài học đừng giữ định kiến, thêm nữa có 2 cuốn đang đọc tâm trạng cực kì ức chế, nên bực bội là điều đương nhiên.

Thôi dừng càm ràm lan man, đi vào r
Селина Йонкова

никога не съм крила пристрастието си към литературата на запада и почти нулевото любопитство към по "екзотичните" такива, в частност към тази от азия. като изсключим харуки мураками, не съм сигурна че бих могла и да изброя прочетени от мен автори, от този регион и на пръстите си на едната ръка. въпреки това, прочетох "зодиакалните убийства" на шимада соджи, само защото съм запален фен на криминалните романи, опасявам се, че ако беше някакъв друг жанр, щях да го побутна и оставя неотворен.

Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was kinda surprised because I almost cried in sadness when reading the last pages...

Anyway, Detective Mitarai officially becomes one of my favorite characters :D Eccentric, almost crazy, yet intelligent at the very same time. Simply my type :p The way the stories are told are very intriguing, with Ishioka who's kinda like Watson and Mitarai the Holmes (regardless to what he feels about the legendary detective @_@)

All the time this book gives me haunted feeling (the reason is simple, I'm a cowa
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge mystery person, but when I read one I want to be given all the clues up front. It really annoys me when an author holds back some essential bit of information that prevents you from figuring out the whodunit.

In that sense The Tokyo Zodiac Murders is perfect - everything you need is laid out in the first half of the book. The murders took place 40+ years prior to the narrative, so the set up is related secondhand. It got tediousness in places but the crime is so intriguing I was co
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebenarnya buku ini memuat kasus pembunuhan biasa yang berlatarkan "dendam, harta, pengkhianatan." Too cliche to be true. Hanya saja disisipin sama metode-metode astrologi, astronomi, alkimia, dll yang terlalu rumit sehingga fokus pembaca "teralihkan." Ada banyak fakta yang "melenceng" tapi dibiarkan tak terjawab. Saya sih terganggu banget bacanya, tapi saya sadar itu ternyata bagian dari cara penulis menyatukan plot. Rada maksa sih, tapi mayan-lah. Dan saya pun sudah bisa menebak siapa pelakuny ...more
Jul 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Pushkin Press!
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders belongs to a Japanese subgenre of murder mysteries called honkaku, which means "orthodox" or "authentic" and focuses on the clues, encouraging the reader to play along and figure out who did it. It was my first one, and it was interesting. Once I found out the ending, I went back and reviewed the clues, and they were clear as day. The reason I didn't enjoy it as much as class
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“The deeper the pain you have, the more you hide it. I am sure I am not the only one who has suffered. The bitter truth is often covered with fake smiles.” 22 likes
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