Published serially in 1946, The Honjin Murders is an influential and cunningly crafted mystery classic. With this novel, Yokomizo introduces his most famous creation, amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi (who would appear in over seventy of his novels), and codifies his unique fusion of western mystery trappings and Japanese literary aesthetics. In The Honjin Murders, Yokomizo wastes no time in constructing an elaborate world populated with unique characters and abundant clues, devising a locked-room mystery with a truly ingenious solution. This is a lean novel with no ink wasted, but it retains a powerful atmosphere thanks to Yokomizo’s visual imagination and rich eye for detail.
House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell can be described as a slow-burning, haunting police procedural, with layers of eerie gothic tale. Although quite a bit of it revolves around death, its darkness is laced with some wonderfully witty dialogue and vivid characters. It is an incredible mix of genres, truly a perfect stay-at-home winter reading book.
A deftly conceived and executed novel, The Devotion of Suspect X is a puzzling treat for any mystery fan. Higashino cleverly inverts the classic whodunit structure by revealing the "who" at the book's beginning, allowing the reader to focus on the complexities of how and why. He grounds the story in the perspectives of both the perpetrators and investigators, playing any possible sympathies against each other. On its face this is a straightforward procedural, but Higashino's methodical style and sleight of hand make it truly engrossing. And his moral and intellectual probing, while subtle, reaches a feverish high by the novel's conclusion.