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The Inugami Curse

(Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #6)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,880 ratings  ·  294 reviews

A fiendish classic murder mystery, from one of Japan's greatest crime writers

In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan's terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons,

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 6th 2020 by Pushkin Vertigo (first published June 12th 1972)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,880 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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mark monday
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
The icy cold inscrutable impassive blindingly beautiful chillingly restrained woman at the heart of the mystery. The diabolical vindictive teeth-chattering spine-tingling insane evil oh so evil string of gruesome horrible heartless vicious eye-burning soul-churning murders. I really love adjectives in general, but sometimes there's a limit and this novel went waaay past that limit! Anyway... those poor filthy rich Inugamis, they have some unlucky luck with this mean-spirited murderer running abo ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

Net Galley & Pushkin Press gave me a copy of this book to review. Thank you very much!

I don't read a lot of Japanese literature, but that doesn't mean I'm not a fan of it!

This book doesn't have the almost detached quality that other Japanese detective stories I've read have. This book (after a slow start)is lively, it is dramatic, with a large cast of characters that I found easy to keep track of.

And most of these characters don't have any trouble speaking their mind.

"Detective you have
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Inugami Clan is probably one of Japanese detective novelist Seishi Yokomizo's most famous and widely adored detective novels, the novel has been adapted into movies for at least twice--the first time done masterfully, but the second time of the adaptation was done horribly, by the same director. Irony, the irony.

Here's the outline of the story: In the 1940s Japan, the wealthy patriarch of the Inugami Clan died due to old age, but the old man left behind a highly unusual or even bizarre last
Xavier Hugonet
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
The Inugami Curse (1951), by Yokomizo Seishi (1902-1981), is the tenth story featuring detective Kosuke Kindaichi, and the second one to be published in English by Pushkin Press. It has been translated by Yamasaki Yumiko.

It’s considered a classic of Japanese detective literature.

As should be obvious to anyone who read my review of The Honjin Murders, the first Kosuke Kindaichi novel, and the first Pushkin Press translation, I’m a lover of Japanese detective manga and anime. Reading this book,
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, reviewed
Sahei Inugami had a rags to riches story and ultimately became the Silk King of Japan. He also had a very messy personal life with three simultaneous mistresses, three unloved daughters, three equally unloved grandsons and a beloved ward. Upon his death at the end of World War II he left a will designed to cause maximum chaos. “...his death set in motion the blood-soaked series of events that later befell the Inugami clan.”

This is the second book I have read by this author. There are many books
Caro the Helmet Lady
Ha, this was probably even better than the first one. Well, sort of better. OK, no, they were equally good as detective stories, as troubled family stories, as unexpected twist stories and if this was a TV series it would be very HBO-ish one. Btw there are movies based on this story and I even found one on youtube and can't wait to watch it. Again, so many cultural layers, so much hidden and not so much hidden passion, love, hate and agression and if you think Japanese are all into their zen and ...more
Nancy Oakes
high 4s

updated: We watched the 1976 (the original ) version of this film last night, and with only a few changes here and there, it was pretty true to the book. It was also creepy, as I would have expected. I think I'll pass on the 2006 remake, since this one was so good.

full post here:

I've long believed that Japanese crime novels (especially the older ones) are sort of in a class unto themselves and in truth take some getting used to, but as someone who'
K.J. Charles
Entertaining and quite warped detective novel set in post-war Japan with a vile family fighting over an inheritance, and one of them setting out to murder the rest. It's a very well constructed mystery in a completely implausible way (it's always a bit of a bad sign when the detective is remarking "well, that was a bizarre series of coincidences) but, you know, murder mystery, go with it. Reasonable translation for the most part; NB there's a rather homophobic thread within the plot. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
I read THE HONJIN MURDERS last month and gave myself a few weeks before coming to THE INUGAMI CLAN, the second of Seishi Yokomizo's books to be newly translated into English. I enjoyed myself even more this time, and I hope these are successful so we get even more Yokomizo translated.

This was written in 1950 and sometimes it is quite obvious. It's set in 1945 and has the feel of an older mystery, in many ways you could compare it to Agatha Christie with its complexity, formality, and eccentric d
Resh (The Book Satchel)
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it. Fun, drama filled, usual tropes in a golden mystery novel but so satisfying
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2020
There's a dark, menacing aura of rage and tragic inevitability in this whodunit that sets this book apart from the mundane familial dysfunctions that I've encountered in a lot of novels. It is not all that surprising though as the stakes here are much higher, with the monstrous wealth, influence, and prestige of the Inugami premiership on the line. Therefore it is just fitting that this fetid swamp will harbor a ruthless monster that shall in time impose its will on the benighted family, fulfill ...more
Athirah Idrus
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an annoying book! It's been a long time since I felt both hatred and admiration for a book. While the writing and plot were beautifully done, I swear you couldn't find more detestable characters even if you tried. The premise of the story is simple - the head of the Inugami household, Sahei Inugami, a wealthy businessman left his huge inheritance to his family. However, he conditioned it in such a way that was not straightforward, and the more you get to know what Sahei was like, the more y ...more
I'm sad to say this was really not my kind of thing. As a longtime fan of Japanese literature - classical and contemporary - I requested a copy after seeing favourable early reviews, but I found it to be too pulpy for my liking. In hindsight this is not all that surprising considering that this was serialised when it came out in the the 1950s. If you're curious about post-war Japanese novels maybe give this a go, but it isn't one which will linger long in my mind.

Thank you Netgalley and Pushkin
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
Disappointing. It was about as bad as your average Agatha Christie ... why's everyone sitting around waiting to be murdered?

The translation was a little weird. We identify koto as "zithers" but then it's important that we identify zithers as "koto" ... and we just use both. And there was a chapter where everyone kept being on a "berm". I mean, what's a berm?
Read all my reviews on

I had not heard of Seishi Yokomizo before, although he is a famous Japanese mystery writer. The Inugami Curse had all the features you have come to expect from mystery novels from that particular era.

There is a rich but strange family, the patriarch recently deceased. Upon reading of the will, family members start dropping like flies and many secrets are uncovered. Into this, the main character, a somewhat strange private detective is
Stephanie Jane
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Having not previously heard of Seishi Yokomizo, I relied on my faith in the quality of work published by Pushkin Vertigo when choosing to download a review copy of The Inugami Curse from NetGalley and I am glad to say that I wasn't at all disappointed! The character of independent sleuth Kosuke Kindaichi was great fun to read about and made a refreshing change from the norm. He's not a divorced alcoholic, but does have suitably quirky persona
Very good for what it is -- bigger and more satisfying than The Honjin Murders. Not at all deep -- even less so than The Honjin Murders, which contained a smidgen of serious/substantial content having to do with Japanese history and the decline of the aristocracy -- just easy-to-read, pulpy fun, full of set pieces that feel as if they were intended to be cinematized (e.g., a chase on skis).

Actually, I suppose The Inugami Clan could be argued to be a more "conservative" book than The Honjin Murde
Ian Josh
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this mystery, and might even say it was my favorite of all the recent Pushkin Japanese mystery translations released.

The simplest comparison is Agatha Christie, and though not as strong a character as Poirot, Kindaichi is a pleasant detective to follow along with, trying to find answers before the next murder occurs.

A lovely Sunday afternoon read for the sunny days, whether we choose to stay home, or are forced to do so.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately this mystery just wasn't for me.

I have read another book by this author previously but I didn't like this one as much. I think because this one was significantly longer, I did find it a challenge to read.

I think one of the main issues, I have with reading these Japanese murder mysteries, is I struggle with the names of the characters. There was a lot in this book. All of which I found hard to pronounce and therefore, they kind of all blend into each other and it can be hard to dis
Marina Sofia
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, that was great fun! A bit crazy, but I loved the setting and the story.
Shades of Agatha Christie, but set in Japan just a year or two after the Second World War. It features the Christie formula: one-dimensional characters thrown together in a large estate and ingenious plotting around a murder—or, in this case, several—with plenty of clues and red herrings seeded to allow the reader to figure out whodunnit. Of course I didn’t figure it out, but I never do; the fun is in the trip. And what a trip this one is: Inugami, an elderly business magnate, dies and leaves a ...more
Nicky Neko

***Spoiler Alert***

If Tamayo marries Kiyo at the end, isn't that STILL INCEST?!?
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy!

Available August 25th 2020

Japanese noir fiction is a brand of its own and Seishi Yokomizo is its respected master as he proves in The Inugami Curse. Set against the gorgeous lakes and forests of Nasu, Japan, this is one hell of a murder mystery. When Sahei Inugami passes away, he leaves his vast inheritance to Tamayo and gives her three months to marry one of his three grandsons. As grief and murder follows the cursed Inug
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has introduced me to the genre of classic Japanese murder mysteries. Until I finished this, I didn't know what I was missing. And now I can't wait to read more.
About the book, I would say it has so many components, family drama, intrigue, a complicated will with a lot of cleverly written clauses and conditions, tensions between family members, loyalty, love and overall, great entertainment value. This book is definitely a page turner and doesn't drag at any point. Although I am loathe
Excellent crime novel, amazing atmosphere, and fascinating plot that got me hooked and engaged. The characters are very interesting, and their personalities are quite balanced. Seishi Yokomizo manages to make the reader go back and forth about liking someone or not. Whenever a character is portrayed as bad, making the reader dislike him, after a few pages, something is revealed that reverses the reader's feelings. The language is quite flat (at least in the translation), allowing the book to foc ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Family feuds? This is the book!
Abbie | ab_reads
Free review copy received from the publisher.

I know lots of people like to snuggle up with holiday-themed romances or cosy mysteries at this time of year, and usually I don't have any recommendations for this type of book... BUT. Now I do! I read The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo, translated by Yumiko Yamakazi, a couple of Saturdays ago and it was such a great read! I don't read that many straight-up mystery novels, so I really enjoyed trying (and failing) to puzzle out the mystery, catch cl
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Inugami Curse is a dark tale set in the 1940s Japan, is about greed, love and family tension over the inheritance. It is the tenth book of Kosuke Kindaichi series and second book translated in English.

Seishi Yokomizo’s books are from the bygone era of golden age detective novels, where everyone has a motive and, the case becomes a labyrinth. The narration is descriptive and portrays the 1900s Japan and its cultural implications.

Kindaichi teams up with the local police who are more than happy tha
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
name a more chaotic family, i'll wait

also the sexism in this novel embarrassed me but it was written quite a while ago so understandable
Ramya Ramani
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: translations, 2021
A pulpy mystery with major plot holes, some clunky writing and chapter titles that function as spoilers. Does have a great start and a satisfying end though.
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Seishi Yokomizo (横溝 正史) was a novelist in Shōwa period Japan.
Yokomizo was born in the city of Kobe, Hyōgo (兵庫県 神戸市). He read detective stories as a boy and in 1921, while employed by the Daiichi Bank, published his first story in the popular magazine "Shin Seinen" (新青年[New Youth]). He graduated from Osaka Pharmaceutical College (currently part of Osaka University) with a degree in pharmacy, and in

Other books in the series

Detective Kosuke Kindaichi (1 - 10 of 34 books)
  • The Honjin Murders (Detective Kosuke Kindaichi, #1)
  • Gokumon-tō: La isla de las puertas del infierno
  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 8 อย่าออกมาเดินตอนกลางคืน (คินดะอิจิ โคสุเกะ, #8)
  • Le Village aux Huit Tombes
  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 4 ร่างทรงมรณะ
  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 14 ผึ้งนางพญา (คินดะอิจิ โคสุเกะ, #14)
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  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 13 ผีเสื้ออมตะ (คินดะอิจิ โคสุเกะ, #13)
  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 10 คฤหาสน์เขาวงกต (คินดะอิจิ โคสุเกะ, #10)
  • คินดะอิจิยอดนักสืบ 6 เจดีย์สามเศียร

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