I really liked the solution to the box puzzle as well. Not sure why Saikawa thought it would be disappointing.
But the murder mystery was super far-fetched. I mean, they’re always far-fetched, but this one was different because of all of the coincidences. Getting in a near accident then an actual accident twice in the same day at the same spot? Which conveniently makes her forget everything? Plus the whole locked room thing. And the little kid, but I’m willing to allow that one.
Yeah, agree with this. This is the longest S&M book so far, right? Don’t feel like we got much more for the extra page length, but whatever. Maybe the suicide was just too Japanese for me…
Coincidence is pretty often a necessary evil in a murder mystery, but here it was pretty ridiculous. Let’s not also forget how an old man was, after getting stabbed in the heart, able to boil water, pour it into a vase, empty the vase, drag himself outside, lay in the snow for an hour or two, get in a car accident, and then walk away before finally kicking the bucket (without anything related to any of this showing up in the autopsy). On the flip side, the fact that it was suicide made it a bit more palatable than if a bunch of ridiculous coincidences just happened to help a murderer.
And yeah, I liked the solution to the box and vase. I wouldn’t call it fair, but I still liked it. It reminded me a lot of the Detective Galileo stories, in that it all hinges on an obscure science fact not revealed until the solution, but it uses the science as one piece in a clever puzzle rather than the single step to the solution. (If this was a Detective Galileo story, the entire mystery/solution would’ve been “How did the key melt?!” “It was made of an alloy with a low melting point.”)
EDIT: Oh yeah, and this was another title win. The beginning of the book makes it seem like “WHO INSIDE” is the main question (or perhaps, as @Escalus suggested, how inside ), but then the end flips that around and 封印再度 becomes the core requirement.
Aaah right I forgot to ask about that. I was looking at amazon reviews and lots of people praise the title and how it’s so clever but… I don’t really get it >_< I’m not even sure if it’s about the room or the box? Care to explain it to me?
I interpreted it as the box. The issue with Saikawa’s initial theory for how the box and vase worked was that it could only open the box once, but the correct mechanism had to be able to seal (封印) the box again (再度). That’s my take, at least. I think you could try to twist it onto the room as well, but it doesn’t fit super well to me.
Yeah, except I don’t think she ‘helped’ with the suicide, I think she was just there when it happened (if it was suicide and not murder). But Saikawa theorized that the reason Fumi forbade opening the box was because she thought her fingerprints would be on the murder weapon/inside the box. So, whether it was murder or suicide, I think that means that Rinsui re-sealed the box on his own after Fumi had left (as she otherwise would have known she didn’t need to worry about the fingerprints).
He thought that she thought that her fingerprints could still be inside the box. They both knew that the knife wouldn’t have fingerprints since it was melted and re-formed, but if she accidentally touched the inside of the box while taking the knife out, her fingerprints could remain inside. That’s why she wanted to keep the box closed, and only gave it to Saikawa after talking about how Rinsui wanted to commit suicide (which convinced Saikawa not to turn her in).
This explanation assumes that pouring water into the box won’t erase the fingerprints on the inside, which either requires some suspension of disbelief, or is just something Mori missed.
Huh, when Saikawa mentioned the knife not having fingerprints b/c it melted, I thought it was like “That’s why it wouldn’t have fp but she didn’t know that,” but yeah, that’s not really how it’s used. Still, even if Fumi was the one who re-sealed the box, the point about Rinsui spending hours bleeding out, then laying in the snow, then getting in a car crash, then walking it off before dying still stands xD
Another minor ‘plot hole’, they found a scrap of metal in Fuusai’s wound, didn’t they? Did they not try to identify what kind of metal it was? Knowing it was an allow with a low melting point could have been a big key in helping bust the case open. On one hand it’d be easy enough to just say “they just didn’t test it”, on the other hand it seems like something reasonable to do under the circumstances…