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The Noh Mask Murder (Paperback)

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The Noh Mask Murder By Akimitsu Takagi, Jesse Kirkwood (Translated by) Cover Image
By Akimitsu Takagi, Jesse Kirkwood (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

Originally published in 1950, Akitmitsu Takagi’s The Noh Mask Murder now appears in a new English translation, giving Western audiences a second stand-alone novel to devour from this Japanese mystery writer. The story tracks a race between the revelation of secrets and the mysterious deaths of the family who has held the secrets. A classic murder mystery that will immediately evoke Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle for Western readers while taking darker yet wry turns all its own. 

— Jocelyn


A bewildering locked-room murder occurs as an amateur crime writer investigates strange events in the Chizurui mansion in this prizewinning classic Japanese mystery

The 1st book in English from Akimitsu Takagi since his “Clever, kinky, and highly entertaining” The Tattoo Murder Case (Washington Post)

This ingeniously constructed masterpiece, written by one of Japan's most celebrated crime writers and translated into English for the first time, is perfect for locked-room mystery fans who can’t resist a breathtaking conclusion.

In the Chizurui family mansion, a haunting presence casts a shadow over its residents. By night, an eerie figure, clad in a sinister Hannya mask is seen roaming around the house. An amateur murder mystery writer, Akimitsu Takagi, is sent to investigate — but his investigation takes a harrowing turn as tragedy strikes the Chizurui family.

Within the confines of a locked study, the head of the family is found dead, with only an ominous Hannya mask lying on the floor by his side and the lingering scent of jasmine in the air as clues to his mysterious murder.

As Takagi delves deeper into the perplexing case, he discovers a tangled web of secrets and grudges. Can he discover the link between the family and the curse of the Hannya mask? Who was the person who called the undertaker and asked for three coffins on the night of the murder? And do those three coffins mean the curse of the Hannya mask is about to strike again?

The Noh Mask Murder’s legendary ending offers locked-room mystery fans the perfect coda to an ingenously constructed mystery.

About the Author

AKIMITSU TAKAGI was born in Japan in 1920 and went on to work as an aeronautical engineer until the end of the Second World War. He later decided to become a mystery writer on the recommendation of a fortune teller. He went on to become one of the country's most popular crime authors. The Noh Mask Murder won the prestigious Mystery Writers Club Award and is considered one of the great classic Japanese whodunits. It is his second novel to appear in English, following The Tattoo Murder Case.

JESSE KIRKWOOD is a literary translator working from Japanese into English. The recipient of the 2020 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize, his translations include The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwai, Tokyo Express by Seicho Matsumoto and A Perfect Day to Be Alone by Nanae Aoyama.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781782279655
ISBN-10: 1782279652
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English