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The Inugami Curse: 29 (Detective Kindaichi Mysteries) Paperback – 1 June 2020 by Seishi Yokomizo (Author), Yumiko Yamazaki (Translator)
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"The diabolically twisted plotting is top-notch." -- The New York Times Book Review

"[A] stellar whodunit. . . Yokomizo creates a palpable sense of menace throughout with grim foreshadowing of the carnage to come. The solution is a perfect match for the baffling puzzle. Fair-play fans will hope for more translations of this master storyteller." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

‘Japan's Agatha Christie  . . . It’s an absolute pleasure to see his work translated at last in these beautifully produced English editions.’ — The Sunday Times

'This is Golden Age crime at its best, complete with red herrings, blind alleys and twists and turns galore... A testament to the power of the simple murder mystery and its enduring appeal.' — The Spectator

 'One of Yokomizo's best-loved detective tales -- Kindaichi must solve a slowly growing string of gruesome murders all connected to the mighty Inugami Clan, and uncover the deeply hidden secrets of the clan along the way.' -- Metropolis Japan

‘2020 may be the year of Seishi Yokomizo . . . Both [The Honjin Murders and The Inugami Curse are] set in the late 1930s/early 1940s, they promise to be atmospheric, exciting and knotty whodunits. The covers alone are enough to get any fan of the genre salivating.’ — Japan Times

'The master of Japanese crime.' — Tuttolibri

About the Author

Seishi Yokomizo (1902-81) was one of Japan's most famous and best-loved mystery writers. He was born in Kobe and spent his childhood reading detective stories, before beginning to write stories of his own, the first of which was published in 1921. He went on to become an extremely prolific and popular author, best known for his Kosuke Kindaichi series, which ran to 77 books, many of which were adapted for stage and television in Japan. The Inugami Curse is one of Kindaichi's most famous mysteries and has twicce been adapted for film in Japan.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Tale Begins
In February 194_, Sahei Inugami—one of the leading businessmen
of the Shinshu region, the founder of the Inugami
Group, and the so-called Silk King of Japan—died at his
lakeside villa in Nasu at the venerable age of eighty-one.
After his death, the rags-to-riches tale of this self-made
man, already related over several decades in various newspaper
and magazine articles, was published by the Inugami
Foundation in its most detailed version to date.
According to this book, The Life of Sahei Inugami, Sahei
was orphaned at a young age and drifted to the Lake Nasu
region when he was seventeen. He had no idea where he
had been born, who his parents were, or even whether his
unusual surname, literally “dog god,” had been inherited
from his ancestors or conferred by someone with a fertile
Most men embellish their family trees when they become
rich or famous, but Sahei Inugami made no attempt to do
so. “We’re all born without a stitch on our backs” was his
constant declaration to those around him. “Until I turned
seventeen, I was like a pauper, drifting from place to place,”
he would say without hesitation. “It was only when I found
my way to Nasu, and Mr. Nonomiya took me in, that fortune
finally smiled on me.”
Daini Nonomiya was the priest of Nasu Shrine, a Shinto
complex that graced the shores of Lake Nasu. Sahei felt
he owed him a lifelong debt. So etched in his mind was
Daini’s generosity that the usually bold and arrogant Sahei
would always sit up straight in humble respect whenever
Nonomiya’s name was mentioned. Yet, while his unchanging
gratitude and devotion to the priest’s family were certainly
commendable, Sahei failed to realize that everything—even
gratitude—has a limit that should not be exceeded, and
that his excessive gratitude toward the Nonomiya family
would embroil his own kin in a series of bloody murders
after his death. Let it be a lesson to us all that even good
intentions can lead to great tragedy if not executed with
the utmost care.
When the two men first met, young Sahei was, as he later
recounted, an indigent drifter. One day, he lay exhausted
under the raised floor of the worship hall of Nasu Shrine. It
was late autumn and impossible to live without heat in this
bitterly cold lakeside region, but Sahei was dressed only in
the flimsiest rags, tied around him by a rope, and he had
eaten hardly anything for three days. Starved and freezing,
he knew he was dying. In fact, if Daini had found him any
later, Sahei probably would have died there like a dog.
Astounded to discover a young pauper beneath the floorboards
of the worship hall, Daini carried him back to his
house so his wife, Haruyo, could tend to him. And thus began
the unusual relationship between the two men. According
to The Life of Sahei Inugami, Daini was forty-two at that time,
while Haruyo was a young woman of twenty-two. Sahei would
later say that she was as kind-hearted as a saint and as lovely
as an angel.
Sahei had a naturally sturdy constitution, and thanks
to the couple’s generous ministrations, he soon recovered
completely. Daini, however, did not wish to see him go and,
learning of Sahei’s wretched circumstances, urged him to
stay. Because Sahei, too, was loath to leave the warm nest
he had found, he continued to live with the priest of Nasu
Shrine and his wife, not quite a freeloader but not quite a
servant. Realizing that Sahei had never spent a day of his
life in school and that he was totally illiterate, Daini took
him under his wing and educated him diligently, as a father
would a son.
Why did Daini so lavish his attentions on Sahei? True, he
may have perceived the future that Sahei’s sharp intelligence
promised, but there is said to have been another, darker
reason, not mentioned even in The Life of Sahei Inugami:
Sahei was an extraordinarily handsome young man. He was
radiantly handsome and would retain traces of that attractiveness
even in his declining years. Because of this youthful
radiance, Daini was drawn to Sahei. People whispered of a
homosexual relationship between them and pointed out
that Haruyo, as softhearted and understanding as she was,
left Daini a little more than a year after Sahei’s arrival and
returned to her parents’ home for a time. Daini, as rumor
had it, was so infatuated with Sahei that he completely
ignored her. 

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