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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Entertaining, Who-Done-It Mystery: Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino.

Salvation of a Saint is a great mystery to read over a weekend.  I'd categorize it as a combination cozy mystery and police procedural.  Here is the puzzle:  A business man, Yoshitaka Mashiba, tells his wife that he is divorcing her because, although they have been married one year, she has not yet become pregnant.  A few days later Yoshitaka is found dead; his coffee had been laced with poison.  His wife has an alibi: she was hundreds of miles away, visiting her parents.  So who did it?  his girlfriend? a business associate? and how was the poisoning accomplished?

Tokyo police detective Kusanagi, his partner Utsumi, and a clever university professor named Manabu Yukawa struggle to solve what appears to be the perfect crime in this absorbing mystery by the popular Japanese author Keigo Higashino.

Reading Salvation of a Saint reminded me a bit of reading an Agatha Christie book. Like a Christie mystery, it is a relatively peaceful puzzler, where time is devoted to character, relationships, and motive. And based upon this book, I'll definitely check out Higashino's first English-language publication, The Devotion of Suspect X.

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