In this collection of five classic puzzler whodunits, a detective duo uses brilliant deductions to solve complex murder mysteries rife with amorous entanglements.
The detectives are a man who belongs to a private investigation agency for VIPs known as the Membership Detective Club (MDC), and his female assistant. He?in his mid-thirties, tall, with well-chiseled features that suggest non-Japanese ancestry?always wears a black suit. She?a long-haired beauty in her late twenties?also dresses in black. Together they tackle incidents involving a company president found dead in his bathtub, two men poisoned with cyanide, and so forth.
In Irai-nin no musume (The Member’s Daughter), the detectives are hired by Miyuki, the high-school-age daughter of wealthy MDC member Yōsuke Matoba, to investigate the death of her mother, Taeko. Miyuki tells them Taeko was stabbed in the chest by an unknown assailant and bled to death. The police had immediately suspected Yōsuke, who discovered the body, but he has a solid alibi for the estimated time of death: he was elsewhere with his wife’s sister, Noriko. As the investigation proceeds, Miyuki comes to believe that her father, her aunt, and her college-age sister Kyōko are acting suspiciously, and she decides on her own volition and at her own expense to call in the MDC. The police investigate a man named Nakano, the teacher of an art class Taeko was taking, as a prime suspect, but he denies any involvement. The two detectives ultimately determine that Taeko and Nakano were having an affair and had planned to run away together on the day she died, but having caught on to those plans, Yōsuke, Noriko, and Kyōko had joined forces to prevent Taeko’s departure. Taeko had then killed herself in despair, after which the three had plotted to frame Nakano for murder as well as to prevent Miyuki from ever finding out about the affair.
The two detectives make only a brief appearance in the narrative, quickly solving the mystery without the slightest show of emotion, and then are gone like the wind. Quick, precise, and absolutely confidential?they represent everything one could wish for in a private investigation team. The reader gets a front row seat to watch true professionals at work.