Kitty Detectives! Week 2 Discussion 🐱

Pages 14 - 20

Story 1: 赤いとびらの家事件

Start Date: 28th October
Last Week: Case Part 1
Next Week: Case Part 3


にゃんにゃん探偵団 Home Thread

Last sentence of page 20 for eBook readers:
犯人は ほかにいて 現場もここではない 可能性が たかい。

Story 1 Schedule
Week Start Date Part Page Numbers
Week 2 October 28th Case Part 2 14 - 20
Week 3 November 4th Case Part 3 21 - 31
Week 4 November 11th Case Part 4 32 - 42
Week 5 November 18th Solution Part 1 44 - 56
Week 6 November 25th Solution Part 2 58 - 67

Vocabulary List

Please read the editing guidelines in the first sheet before adding any words!

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please blur/hide major events in the current week’s pages (however early they occur) and any later content, like so: [spoiler]texthere[/spoiler]
    Err on the side of caution!

  • When asking for help, please mention the page number (or % for eBooks).

  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn and someone else will probably be grateful you asked!

  • People usually find that they engage with and enjoy the discussion much more if they don’t read ahead, though of course it’s up to you :wink:

  • To you lurkers out there: join the conversation, it’s fun!


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll:

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m dropping this book

0 voters

If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion (or have read ahead), please select “I’m reading along”!


We’ve made it through the first week! :slightly_smiling_face:

Two important requests for this week:

Please blur out spoilers for the current week’s reading

Lots of people keep up with the thread before they’ve finished reading, and it’s much more exciting if you don’t get spoiled on what’s coming up.
You don’t have to blur mundane details like “she left the house”, but if it’s something like “and then the butler vanished in a puff of smoke!”, please please blur it out! Err on the side of caution.

[spoiler]example of how to do spoiler tags[/spoiler]

Please include page numbers when asking questions

It makes it much easier for people to help you, and also makes it easier for people to make sense of the thread.

Alright, happy reading :grin:


Page 14

Monday morning, and a tricky sentence to get us started…!

ところが, かけつけた 黒星けいぶが しらべてみると, 近所に泥畑という 家はなかった

ところが, - whereupon / however
かけつけた - came running
黒星けいぶが - Inspector Kuroboshi + identifier particle
しらべて - to investigate, in て-form
みる - try to
と - when
近所に - in the neighbourhood
泥畑という 家は - a house called 泥畑 (Japanese houses have the names of their occupants posted up outside)
なかった - the past tense of ない, ie, “wasn’t”

“however, when Inspector Kuroboshi rushed out to investigate, there was no house belonging to someone called 泥畑 in the area”

How’s that? Close? Anyway, looking forward to another great week in the bookclub!


It’s say that’s pretty spot on. I don’t see any issues.

For anyone who may wonder where the word “belong” comes from in @marcusp’s translation, that’s a matter of making it flow better in English, since we wouldn’t say “there wasn’t a house called (name)” in English. Instead, “there wasn’t a house belonging to (name)” is a much smoother way to say it.


Thank you so much! :+1:

Page 14

And a question…

So, on page 14, there is no house belonging to a 泥畑, the criminal seems to be using a false name, and there is not even a house with a red door. Such is life, it can’t be helped, これではどうしようもない.

My question, what is the で in that last sentence.
これ - this
で - ?
は - topic particle
どうしようもない - can’t be helped

Any ideas?

When saying 「これで」, you’re referring to the situation. If you think of で as a destination, then これで is where events have led up to “this” (how things are now). “With this” is a fair translation.

It is used when talking about how things will be, due to those events that led up to “this”. Imagine you hear someone say, “With this, we can win.” Even without knowing what they are talking about, you know there was something that took place, and “with this” thing, they will win something (in this example).

With は, you are making “with this” the topic, meaning you’re talking about the current state (what’s happened) leading to how things are going to be (what will happen).

In this sentence from the book, some ways you can translate 「これではどうしようもない」 include:

  • Under these circumstances, there’s nothing I can do.”

  • Because of this, there’s nothing I can do.”

  • This being the case, there’s nothing I can do.”

  • With the way things are, there’s nothing I can do.”

Note how これで is standing in for the situation at hand (stated in the prior sentence; what happened in the past), and is followed by what will happen due to how things now are (what will happen in the future).

Once you get used to it, you don’t have to think of it in detail. If you hear someone say, “I subscribed to WaniKani. With this, I can master kanji,” you don’t think through “with this” as meaning “the thing that happened in the past will result in such a future”. The meaning is simply understood. It’s a matter of getting used to what これで conveys, and if you see it often it’ll become instinct.


Wow! What an amazing reply! So detailed and yet clear and easy to understand! Thank you so much @ChristopherFritz! Are you a professional Japanese teacher? You ought to be! Much appreciated! Thank you so much!

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@marcusp, my secret is that I’m actually really bad at explaining and teaching things. But don’t tell anyone that!

I am trying to improve in that area, so don’t hesitate to let me know if something I’ve said was explained in a confusing way or didn’t make sense. (If you can’t understand something I wrote, it’s not you, it’s me!)


I don’t believe that for a minute! Thanks again so much!

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I visited my brother’s family for a week earlier this month, and near the end of my time there, I tried helping my 8.5 year old nephew with his math and English homework.

Going over the math was difficult because American schools have changed how they teach math. Watching him do multiplication was more confusing that trying to learn Japanese, so I was unable to help any with the division part he didn’t understand. I didn’t want to teach him differently than they learn in class. (My older brother already tried that with my niece when she was younger, and the teacher didn’t like her doing math that way!)

And the grammar portions, I was able to help with some of it, but he made some mistakes with tense and such. I didn’t know how to explain why his answers were wrong. To me, as an adult, certain things just “feel” right due to decades of exposure. (That’s how これで is for me, actually. I looked up a Japanese page that told what its meaning was, and I realized, yeah, that’s how it feels to be based on hearing it in anime so much over 20 years.)

Although I was able to help my nephew get a lot of his homework done, the parts I couldn’t help with frustrated him because “Uncle Chris doesn’t know this.” I really do know third-grade math and grammar! I just couldn’t teach it.

I wouldn’t say it was demoralizing for me, but I wish I could explain it in a way that he could understand. In the situations where I am in a “teaching” type role (such as showing a co-worker how to use a piece of software), I try to adapt my style to the individual, and I was unable to do that for my nephew. I’d love to work more at it, but when he lives 580 miles away and I don’t drive, I can’t just pop in over there after work!


(Can’t believe I managed to post this in the wrong thread, again :woman_facepalming: )

Impressions: I am enjoying this book (and understanding more) than any previous attempts. It can still sometimes take me an inordinately long time to figure some bits out, but all-in-all doable and satisfying.

I will second the statement that things get easier and that is in part because some of the same vocab gets used again and again in subsequent pages (phew).

Here are my notes for Week 2:









Having read pages 14 and 15, my immediate thought is… the plot thickens!

I also love how on page 15 the jeweller has to lead the police inspector through the logical conclusion of him remembering a smell of oil paints. Such a fabulous inspector :joy:


@Radish8, could I suggest that the dates from the master thread are also moved over into these weekly threads? They’re really helpful for me. Thank you!

Incidentally, by analogy to the series title, I am now internally thinking of this reading group as the ピュンピュン抄読会. I wish I could draw it!

Is something like what I’ve done (drop-down info below the image) okay? I don’t want to clutter up the OP too much with information that’s already available in the home thread. Do you want previous weeks / the page counts too?


Page 15

I’ve been at work today and need to get to bed, but I’ve just taken a look at page 15 and the hardest thing was working out who was speaking…

I think it goes like this…

Sentence 1: Inspector 黒星: “Besides that, is there anything else you remember?”
Sentence 2: Jeweler 秋田: “Come to think of it, there was the smell of oil paint in the entrance.”
Sentence 3: Is this はなえさん, speaking as the narrator?: “Hm, what does that say / mean?”
Sentence 4: Is this the Inspector, or the jeweler?: “Let’s investigate if there is a painter living nearby”

(I don’t think spoilers on my translations are really necessary as it is the second page on the second day, but I’ve put them in just in case!)

Goodnight all!


Yes, I always find multiple lines of dialogue hard to follow.

Now that you’ve pointed out that ん、ということは? is not in quotation marks, I’m less confident I followed what was going on myself. I assumed that was the inspector, followed by the jeweller, but I suspect you’re right that it’s Hanae voicing her thoughts to the reader, in an encouraging “so what does that mean, reader?” way.

In which case the last line is probably the inspector, and I feel bad for unfairly bashing the inspector’s abilities :joy:

Thank you! I don’t think it’s the most exciting / revelatory content ever, but there could always be someone doing all their reading in one go later in the week who doesn’t want to be spoiled today :slightly_smiling_face:


This is great, thank you!

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Oh, I guess there will plenty of chances to do that coming up! :laughing:
Cheers @Radish8! :+1: :smiley:


Page 16

Time for just one quick question before I have to head out…


黒星けいぶは - Inspector Kuroboshi + topic particle
秋田さんと - Akita-san + the inclusive particle
いっしょに - together
さっそく - at once
たずねて - to visit, to call on, 訪ねる, in て-form
みた - to try, to try out, in plain past form

“Right away, Inspector Kuroboshi and Mr Akita went together to see if he was at home”.

I think the last phrase is to visit + tried to, so I’ve written it as “went … to see if he was at home”, I can’t think of a better way to write this. Am I on the right lines do you think? Thanks everyone!