Monday, 3 August 2015

The Alice Mirror Castle Murder Case

Ten characters gather on a lonely island in winter. Most are detectives invited by the wealthy niece of the owner of the only house on the island, the Lewis Carroll themed Alice Mirror Castle. The niece wants the detectives to search for the so-called Alice mirror that should be in the castle somewhere. Whoever is still alive at the end of their stay can have the mirror. This seems like an invitation to murder. And indeed someone is targeting the other guests, and one by one their number decreases, in a homage to the Agatha Christie classic, And Then There Were None. If this all sounds strangely familiar, there is more than one homage to the book in the world of Japanese mystery. Today's isolated island serial murder is by KITAYAMA Takekuni (北山猛邦, born 1979), 『アリス・ミラー城』殺人事件  (The Alice Mirror Castle Murder Case, 2003).

I'm not going to write much about this one, because I'm clearly not its intended audience. It has a locked room mystery and various crime scene maps and plans; but at the end, none of the explanations for the various mysteries seemed to make sense. The fantastical set up might be considered a warning not to expect too much logic, and the characters do not act like characters in the real world.

You can read the much more enthusiastic reactions of other bloggers here and here. So obviously I'm missing something.

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