八つ墓村(金田一耕助 Reading Club)

Summary

As per Amazon: 出生の秘密のせいで嫁ぐ日の直前に破談になった有爲子は、長野県諏訪から単身上京する。戦時下に探偵小説を書くことを禁じられた横溝正史が新聞連載を続けた作品がよみがえる。著者唯一の大河家族小説!

A review: Storytellerとしての才能,布石の打ち方,話の妙そして何よりもその時代を生きた人しか醸し出せない時代の空気感を出している作品。後の戦後からのヒット作品「八つ墓村~」へと続く小説の原点を観ることが出来ます。橫溝正史ファンならずとも一度はご覧下さい。

Sounds interesting! Not something we’ll read with the 金田一 club (unless you’re all interested in a non 金田一 横溝 as well?), but it went on my list for when we take our next s&m break (or something). Another one that went on the list is 悪魔の手毬唄 which was referenced in this book. Being a 金田一 entry, we might actually get to read it as a club!

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Finished chapter 4 with a few hours to spare :sunglasses:

I think the Shintarou stuff is a red herring. It violates the one-murder-per-chapter rule.

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Chapter five! (I have been reading a little bit ahead, because chapter 6 is our longest chapter and happens to fall on a week when I’ll have a bit less time available for reading. And also because I’m enjoying the book…)

Anyway, I called the identity of the corpse correctly. I didn’t expect the grave wax bit, though – I thought he’d either be recently dead or else a skeleton. Incidentally this is the second time the word 死蝋 has cropped up on the forum in the last three weeks :slight_smile:

More cave exploration, and lots more to come, it looks like. Also a lot of blundering around and bumping into other people in the dark. No surprise that the gold has turned up again, either. I feel like that must surely be the underlying motive, except that the actual murders seem to have no connection to it as yet.

I was amused that the aunts used the exact same sleeping-tablets-in-the-tea trick again, and Tatsuya played along and drank it again!

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Just finished Chapter 4. Now I need to try to get through Chapter 5 over the weekend. :sweat_smile:

I agree with the comments about Tatsuya’s secrecy. Definitely annoying. He shouldn’t have hid that from Haruyo, of all people. Noriko is an entertaining character though. Interested to see what’s coming up next…

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Chapter 5 complete.

At this point I don’t trust anybody. One of the women in the tunnels must know more than they’re letting on, right? In my head I’ve been treating the aunts as basically a single character, so it would be a fun twist if one of them were actually betraying the other (e.g. if the kidnapped one faked the kidnapping).

For a while, my out-of-left-field theory was that the aunts were keeping Youzou drugged up in some kind of animalistic state and using him for nefarious deeds around town. He would be the one who visited the protagonist when he had sleep paralysis. Seems a bit less likely now :slightly_smiling_face:

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I finished chapter 4!

Chapter 4 notes

My suspicions are that Kuno wrote the note just because he likes mystery novels and so was following along trying to solve the mystery (and fled because he knew it was suspicious – after all if he was the murderer he would have at least tried to have a poker face) and that someone else other than Shintaro was the shadow in the house (though that might be far-fetched). But it seems like we have a lot of balls in the air at this point and none of them have started to come down, so who knows!
The distrust raised around Miyako Mori is interesting - the amount of times Haruyo insists she’s an ally makes me rather distrust her instead, but I might just be being overly suspicious of everything presented at face value…
I agree Noriko is entertaining, and she seems a bit more developed so far than Suzuko (a character with a similar role) in 本陣殺人事件 which is nice.
I suppose the mistake Kindaichi alluded to has something to do with whatever it was Myouren stole?

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I finally finished Chapter 5. I think that Haruyo is the most suspicious character right now. She has the emotional trauma of seeing her mother killed by her father. She knows that her aunts poisoned Yozo. She conveniently found the secret passageway at just the right moment. She had a plausible opportunity to administer poison for all of the murders, and there were no murders while she was sick. And she’s been on Tatsuya’s side the whole time, never suspecting him.

I could be way off base, but this is where my mind is taking me right now. On to Chapter 6!

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Mmm, I was thinking similar thoughts…

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I’m only in the beginning of chapter 6, but the つめたい汗 density is getting out of control! It’s like everyone in this book is made of pure sweat!

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Amen to that! This book should have been called 冷やし汗村 :sweat_smile:

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Fresh off finishing chapter 5!

I’m liking the cave exploration scenes, and that we have a bunch of very different female characters all playing a major role.

Pretty exciting chapter. It’s been slow going since I’m on holiday and the kindle isn’t such a good choice in direct daylight (of which there is a lot here), but I’ll keep plugging away~ (in fact I think I’m behind on all of my book clubs. Oh well, I’ll catch up when I’m back home ^^)

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Chapter 6! It was a long one and I didn’t find much time to read at the start of the week (work conference) but I got through it eventually. And so we’re less than a hundred pages from the end…

Miscellaneous thoughts:

Finally, Tatsuya calls in the police. But he’s still trying (badly) to conceal things from them. Oops.

As predicted, Youzou isn’t Tatsuya’s father.

Nothing like a good old fashioned mob of peasants waving flaming torches.

At the end of the chapter, when Tatsuya escapes into the caves, not one but two people offer to bring him a bento. The last two people who escaped into a cave and ate a bento somebody brought them both found it was poisoned…

Language notes: I noticed a few places where the text has 闇を縫うて (that’s a subchapter title) and I think a couple of 迷うて (hard to refind without text search) where 縫って and 迷って would be more usual.

I did not bother to properly read the text of the letters where they were full of 候, because I am lazy. Yokomizo kept them to just small fragments, though, which was kind of him.

Also, TIL that From Software developed a Nintendo DS game based on this book (judging by the blurb, sounds vaguely Phoenix-Wright style gameplay?)…

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Color me interested. :eyes:

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I read some more today and finished… the book!

I left set-up/note-taking mode behind and just let myself sink into it and read through. I think I’ll hold back posting thoughts until later on when it’s less jumping the gun. :sweat_smile: but suffice to say I enjoyed it!

Ooh, good find! Looks like there was an Inugami Family game too. Glancing through a bit of a longplay, it doesn’t look like… the most enthralling game in the world… but I’m amused by the somewhat tasteless intro cutscene and the apparent shifting of Kindaichi to actual protagonist position!

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I just finished Chapter 6. Earlier on, I said that 春代 seemed the most suspicious, but there’s definitely more going on than meets the eye with 典子. Also, while the first part of the chapter was pretty slow going, the pace picked up considerably towards the end.

Let’s see if we get some 弁当 action in the next chapter! I predict more 冷や汗 as well. :sweat_smile:

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Chapter seven down!

Yokomizu adopts the classic strategy of gradually narrowing the field of suspects by killing them off one at a time.

I have a new theory: Miyako is killing everybody so that Shintarou will inherit the family fortune and finally propose to her.

Has anybody been keeping track of the number of murders? I have lost count entirely…

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And I’m done! Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and it’s been fun discussing it here. Looking back through the thread, some people had some pretty accurate guesses.

My chapter 7 theory about the murderer and motive was correct :slight_smile:

I had completely forgotten about most of the loose ends that Yokomizu spends the last 20 pages carefully tidying up, though!

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Here’s the few quick thoughts I jotted down at the time I finished the book:

end of book thoughs

I really under-estimated Noriko earlier! I wasn’t expecting her to be so major a character and also like, a badass stealth video game protagonist (that From game shoulda been a Metal Gear Solid clone starring her!) but I enjoyed that about her, and I’m glad she lived through to the end.
And I was surprised how happy of an ending it was (besides all the deaths anyway)! With that and all the romance and cave adventure and non-Yokomizo/Kindaichi narrator this one ended up feeling more like an adventure serial than the horror-ish tone I was expecting from the beginning. That’s not my favorite shift in the world (Ranpo’s 孤島の鬼 somewhat similarly veers hard into cave adventure in the latter half if I recall correctly, and that was my less favorite part of that book), but I think it’s done pretty fun here, and I like that thematically, ending with a comparatively extremely wholesome cave-based romantic tryst securing the family legacy over the massacre/murder/abuse-based match-making that has been its legacy, feels like it lays to rest the town’s baggage in a way, rather than just ending on like, “maybe there’ll be another eight murders someday…” or something.
I also thought it was funny that in this one Kindaichi outright acknowledges that his being there changed basically nothing despite knowing who probably did it from the beginning. He’s endearing and good at explaining why murders happened but not the most effective at stopping them, is he… :sweat_smile: Honestly I think I kinda like that about him though, he’s just a guy who wonders from horrifically grisly situation to horrifically grisly situation going “oh well isn’t this an interesting circumstance! Had me wondering for a while!”

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That also crossed my mind during chapter 7! She’s been described as clever and shrewd too much, haha.

Anyway, I finished the book! I went from on holiday to sick at home, so I had time aplenty. :upside_down_face:

I enjoyed it! There really wasn’t much of 金田一 here, for all that he cameo’d frequently and instigated some fun cave exploration times. After the suspenseful intro of how ‘narrator guy is only here today thanks to that detective’s good work’, I’m quite amused that how he saves 辰也 life was by finding him in the caves rather than by saving him from the killer. I find that pretty irony. The one time he manages to save a guy, haha.

That said, after over 100 pages of 横溝 my brain feels quite thoroughly fried. Which, wow. That’s a lot of pages for a single day. I hadn’t realized, the end was really gripping.

Although I liked the book, I’m kind of hoping our next one will be a bit more in the style of 獄門島 in that we’ll actually be following along with 金田一’s pursuits more. :slight_smile:

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Done with chapter 6. I’m pretty sure Tatsuya will survive. Probably Kindaichi too ;). It’s possible that no one actually died and they’re just planning some elaborate surprise party… or someone’s trying to get the treasure and is framing Tatsuya for reasons probably involving family details from chapter 1. Definitely one of those.

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