New books on the way!

Following my resolution to read extensively the authors who won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, I ordered several books by Seicho Matsumoto and Shizuko Natsuki.

I mostly associate Seicho Matsumoto with detective novels and was not aware that he had written so many historical novels (both “historical” novels 歴史小説 and novels set in a past period 時代小説)!

Looking at what is currently available, I found that the most famous detective novels are all published by Shinchosha, but I was very surprised to see that most of them were dating back from the 70s. I guess that for such a famous author, I expected new editions to be available. The titles published by Kadokawa were all 新装版, so much more recent, but the titles I was interested in are all published by Shinchosha.

I also saw that Kobunsha is constantly releasing new publications, but even though the series is called 松本清張プレミアム・ミステリー, I think that most of the titles in the collection are 時代小説 rather than 推理小説, but I may be mistaken. I was tempted to buy one of these, but I’m afraid I would struggle quite a bit to read them, so I gave up on the idea.

The books I bought are:

点と線: first published in 1958, this is probably Seicho Matsumoto’s most famous novel. There are two English translations available:

  • Points and Lines by Makiko Yamamoto and Paul C. Blum, 1970.
  • Tokyo Express, by Jesse Kirkwood, 2023

Tokyo Express is also the title of the French translation by Rose-Marie Fayolle that was published in 1989.

時間の習俗: I believe that this novel has not been translated into English. It was first published in 1962 and features the two detectives of 『点と線』, namely inspector Mihara (三原警部補) and detective Torigai (鳥飼刑事).

砂の器 (in two volumes): Another famous novel published in 1961 and translated into English: Inspector Imanishi Investigates, by Beth Cary.

ゼロの焦点: This novel was first published in 1959, and as I was searching for an eventual translation, I saw that one is scheduled for the end of March 2024 and already available for pre-order! The title is Point Zero and it is translated by Louise Heal Kawai.

I also chose two collections of short stories: 黒い画集 and 内海の輪.

As for Shizuko Natsuki, I found three collections of short stories recently published by Kobunsha: 雨に消えて, 誰知らぬ殺意 and いえない時間. Reading a novel by Shizuko Natsuki was not really my priority, but short stories are different!

While I’m waiting for the books to arrive, I will continue to read Jokichi Hikage. I have just finished 応家の人々 and plan on reading 内部の真実 and 孤独の罠.