Absolute Beginners Book Club // Now Reading: Tamamo no Koi!

I’ve got a nomination as well.



A series of three mystery stories with a children’s bookstore owner named Hanae who decided to become a detective. Based on the first book, all the cases involve cats in someway, though they’re not mostly about the cats. The mysteries are all pretty simple (it’s meant for elementary schoolers, after all) and not too serious.

The description from Bookwalker, for anyone interested:


amazon.com - bonus hilariously terrible, obviously machine-assisted translation of the title
Bookwalker ebook

Personal Opinion

The first book was great. I haven’t read this book yet, but presumably it’s of similar quality. Hanae is cute as heck and all the mysteries were nice. It’s a really good difficulty for the Absolute Beginner club and is a book (with pictures) rather than a manga.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • As mentioned, a book rather than a manga, so it has a good amount of writing that’s not just dialogue. We’ll also have had a couple of manga in a row, so changing it up would be nice.
  • The characters are all humans, rather than animals. Cats are involved, but are not the main focus of any stories. (This is probably more up to taste, but it is a change from the last couple of books, so I thought that might make it a pro.)
  • Of course, all the language is pretty simple (it’s intended for 3rd-4th graders, from what I’ve seen.)
  • I’ve seen people ask about doing a follow up for the first book club several times, so there’s definitely interest in the book already.
  • Hanae is cute as heck (her cat… maybe not so much?)


  • It’s a sequel, so some people might be put off by that. However, the stories in the first volume were all pretty independent, and the book has a page with introductions for all the characters, included those returning from the last book.
  • It’s a bit longer than the first book–135 pages vs 155, based on the Bookwalker listing. I don’t really think the extra 20 pages will be a big deal, but I figured I’d mention it.
  • The stories are fairly long–the first and third are around 60 pages each, while the second is around 20, based on the table of contents. So it’s a bit harder to break up into different weeks (can’t just do “one chapter per week” or something like that.) The group for the first book did around 15 pages a week, by the look of it, though it’s hard for me to figure out exactly.


The Bookwalker ebook preview - can also get to it from the Bookwalker link above

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters