The After-Dinner Mysteries

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The After-Dinner Mysteries
Author: Tokuya Higashigawa
Specifications: ISBN  978-4093862806
256 pages
13.4 x 18.8 cm / 5.4 x 7.5 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Shogakukan Inc.
Tokyo, 2010
Awards: Booksellers Award, 2011
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This is a collection of six linked short stories, all humorous mysteries. With its unexpected settings and brain-teasing riddles, the book has garnered a readership of well over a million people.

The protagonist is Reiko Hosho, a beautiful detective stationed at a local branch of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. She is the daughter of the owner of a large family-run business with interests in finance and publishing. Dressed to the nines in expensive, designer-made suits, she rushes to her crime scenes in a seven-meter limousine. The driver, Kageyama, is the other main character. A typical armchair detective, he serves as Reiko's butler and chauffeur. Relying on only the bits of information Reiko shares with him, Kageyama solves her most puzzling murder cases time and again?with speed and with flair.

The charm of these short mysteries lies in the abusive language the butler unleashes on Reiko, which seems incongruous with his prim appearance (tall and thin, he wears silver-rimmed glasses and a dark double-breasted suit, even in the summer). "With all due respect, madam," he says when Reiko can't get to the bottom of case, "are you a complete dimwit?" Or "Even an amateur could do a better job than you, madam." But despite his harsh words, he supports her to a fault. The two make an endearingly eccentric detective duo.