Books by Sadako Mizuguchi

THE INFORMER by Akimitsu Takagi
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 10, 1999

Having already failed at both his stockbroking job (he got caught covering his speculations with clients' money) and his own firm, Shigeo Segawa doesn't expect much from his next job. So he's pleasantly surprised when a tip from Kazumi Yamaguchi, an ex-lover who's still carrying a flame for him, leads him to Mikio Sakai, owner and manager of the fledgling Shinwa Trading Company. There's only one catch behind the generous salary and the promised partnership that Sakai dangles before him: his work selling massage machines is only a cover for Shinwa's real business, industrial espionage. Is Segawa willing to earn his way back to the big time by tricking his former friend Shoichi Ogino, executive director of the Shichiyo Chemical Company, into giving him a peek at the formula for the new wonder compound paramizol? Before you can say "major yen," Segawa's wormed his way back into Ogino's confidence and his wife Eiko's bed, and he's making real progress with Setsuko Kondo, secretary to paramizol wizard Tatsuji Nishiwaki. Then, without warning, a murder brings all Segawa's plans to a screeching halt—a murder for which he's the obvious suspect. The cops work hard, but the detection here is less interesting than the proposed crime. Before murder spoils everything, though, Takagi (The Tattoo Murder Case, 1998) achieves some of the brilliantly brutal effect of a more polite David Mamet. Read full book review >
HONEYMOON TO NOWHERE by Akimitsu Takagi
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 10, 1999

Honeymoon To Nowhere ($12.00 paper; Jun. 10; 288 pp.; 1-56947-154-1): The first US trade edition of the 1965 novel by Takagi (The Informer, above, etc.), previously published in mass-market paper in 1977. Here, Etsuko Ogata overcomes her family's many objections to her marrying the unsuitable Yoshihiro Tsukamoto—only to have her bridegroom disappear on the first night of their honeymoon and turn up dead the next morning. Read full book review >
THE TATTOO MURDER CASE by Akimitsu Takagi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 25, 1998

If the title sounds like S.S. Van Dine gone Japanese, it should: This first English translation of Takagi's 1947 novel (first of a series starring his improbable Boy Genius, forensic medical student Kyosuke Kamizu) has all the mind-boggling braininess and dazzling artifice of mystery's Golden Age, spiced with voyeuristic close-ups of a dying art in which postwar Japan remains supreme: full-body tattoos. The plot focuses on the three luckless children of nonpareil tattoo artist Horiyasu, each of them tattooed with a mystical totem—a snake, a frog, a slug—whose combination, even one to each blood relative, spells trouble. Trouble wastes no time in finding Horiyasu's daughter Kinue Nomura, whose fears that she's being stalked by a killer are fatally confirmed when her brand-new lover, military medic Kenzo Matsushita, finds her dead and dismembered inside her locked bathroom. Just as Kinue's death is only the first in a series of grisly tattoo-oriented killings, the bizarre twist Takagi puts on this dismemberment—Kinue's tattooed torso is missing, leaving only her head and limbs—is only the first of a series of Grand Guignol touches evidently calculated to outdo John Dickson Carr in both ghoulishness and ingenuity. Intricate, fantastic, and utterly absorbing. More, please. Read full book review >