This is not the kind of supernatural element which actually turns out to have a natural explanation. Instead in the course of the investigation, the detectives have to accept that the mysterious phenomenon is real, and then explain the remaining mystery in the light of that. The stories can all stand as separate mysteries; but experience of one is reflected in the next.
|A Street in Kanazawa|
The two detectives are the experienced Kizaki and the young Yoshimura; but in several stories Yoshimura plays only a minor role and it is always Kizaki who provides the key deduction. Kizaki grumbles quite a bit, both at his younger colleague's enthusiasm for detective story style interpretations of their cases, and at the supernatural phenomena that seem to plague him; but he is a likable character, unable to leave a problem alone, but still showing sympathy towards those he investigates. The supernatural elements that wind through the stories are the kind of ideas that disturb the real world only slightly: a ghost (who can be seen, but cannot move objects); prophetic dreams; a man whose soul wanders from his body while he sleeps; a child with weak telekinetic abilities. The crimes involved tend toward the less bloody end of the range of detective fiction. There is one murder, and that in a locked room whose only exit is through a window onto a snow covered garden with no footprints. Other than that the stories feature: the theft of a jewel box, which ought still to be in the building (since witnesses saw no-one leave), but cannot be found; the investigation of a woman whose dreams convince her she is going to stab her husband; a man hit on the head with a surikogi ; a passenger known to have boarded a plane to Tokyo, who nonetheless is not among the passengers when the plane lands. The last one might sound familiar if you read the post on 蒸発 by NATSUKI Shizuko (夏樹静子). This is Matsuo's approach to the same problem, with a different solution. Although there are two or three impossible crimes in the collection, the emphasis is actually more on the characters.