Book review: 『密室の鍵貸します』by Tokuya Higashigawa

密室の鍵貸します (みっしつのかぎかします)
Title: 密室の鍵貸します (みっしつのかぎかします)
First published: 2006
Published: 2006
Format: Bunko
Series Number: 1
Page Count: 310
This book is Tokuya Higashigawa's debut novel and the first book in the series 烏賊川市 (Ikagawa), featuring detective Ukai.

I had a lot of fun reading this book. It manages to maintain a light and humorous tone throughout, while still delivering an engrossing case and a challenging locked room mystery.

『密室の鍵貸します』 is a great howdunnit. If you like locked room murder mysteries, I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the genre as Tokuya Higashigawa explores the locked room possibilities with humour and inventiveness.

And the mystery is a challenging one for the reader as well as for our protagonist Ryuhei and the detective of the series: Morio Ukai.

I was also satisfied with the solution, which is not always the case when authors build complicated murder scenarios. The novel was engrossing all along, with a good pace and enough room for the reader to make their own theories, even though I remained clueless throughout the novel.

The book also contains a lot of humour, and plays with the reader’s expectations. For example, the conventional role of the private detective vs police officer is not what you would expect here. I found it extremely refreshing and I am so thankful to the author for introducing novelty in the genre and break the stereotype of the genius detective.

I have read several light/humorous detective books in Japanese, and this one is by far the best. I will continue the series for sure!

Other books in this series:
密室に向かって撃て! (みっしつにむかってうて!)2
完全犯罪に猫は何匹必要か? (かんぜんはんざいにねこはなんぴきひつようか?)3
探偵さえいなければ (たんていさえいなければ)8