Book review: 『推理作家(僕)が探偵と暮らすわけ』by Shiki Kuzumi

推理作家(僕)が探偵と暮らすわけ (すいりさっか(ぼく)がたんていとくらすわけ)
Title: 推理作家(僕)が探偵と暮らすわけ (すいりさっか(ぼく)がたんていとくらすわけ)
First published: 2018
Published: 2018
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 288
彼ほど個性的な人間にお目にかかったことはない。同居人の凜堂である。人目を惹く美貌ながら、生活破綻者。極めつけはその仕事で、難事件解決専門の探偵だと嘯くのだ。 僕は駆け出しの推理作家だが、まさか本物の探偵に出会うとは。行動は自由奔放。奇妙な言動には唖然とさせられる。だがその驚愕の推理ときたら、とびきり最高なのだ。 これは「事実は小説より奇なり」を地でいく話だ。なにせ小説家の僕が言うのだから間違いない。では僕の書く探偵物語、ご一読いただこう。

This is my review of the light novel『推理作家(僕)が探偵と暮らすわけ』by Shiki Kuzumi (久住四季).

This novel tells the story of Jun TSUKISE, a young author of detective novels, and his new flatmate Seishiro RINDO, a private detective. By the setting only, it is impossible not to think of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, and the story soon confirms that it is indeed inspired by the BBC series.

If you have watched Sherlock, you will find numerous allusions and hints to it in Kuzumi’s novel. From the personality of both protagonists to the details of their first meeting, the novel keeps echoing the British series.

To be honest, it bothered me a little at first; I had preferred something more original. But soon it became obvious that despite many similitudes, Jun and Seishiro are unique characters, not just copies of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ depiction of John and Sherlock. Moreover, the cases they solve are fresh and new.

I found the book very entertaining and almost impossible to put down once I started it. It is easy to feel sympathy for the narrator Jun, and I liked the insights into a writer’s life and work. I also liked the humour in the book and while I was not entirely convinced by the cases, they were intriguing enough to keep me engrossed until the end.

If you like reading light novels and detective stories, or/and if you like the BBC series Sherlock and would like to read something similar but with a Japanese touch, you will certainly like this novel. I found it easy to read in Japanese too, though the second story (there are two chapters and two cases) was a little more difficult than the first one.

This book looks very much like the beginning of a series, and I will definitely read the following volume if, or hopefully when, it comes out!