Keigo Higashino is Japan’s most widely read author and with good reason. His books are internationally translated, and include The Devotion of Suspect X, wihc was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and for the Barry Award.

He’s new to Auntie M, but this won’t be the last of his books that she reads. Hs newest, Malice, features Detective Kyochiro Kaga, a mentally adept man who’s ratiocination rivals that of Sherlock Holmes in modern Japan.

What appears to be a classic locked room mystery turns out to be so much more when a bestselling novelist is found murdered in his home the night before a planned move with his second wife to Vancouver. His strangled body is found in his locked office within his locked house by his wife and his best friend, whom both have solid alibis.

When Det. Kaga arrives at the crime scene, he recognizes the best friend of novelist Kunihiko Hidaka as a former colleagues at the same public school from earlier days when they were both teachers. Kaga has gone on to the police force; Osamu Nonoguchi has left teaching to become a writer, mostly of children’s books. He has not achieved the same high level of success as his friend, the dead Hidaka, but it was the murdered man who introduced Nonoguchi to his own editor and allowed for the transition.

Told in alternating tales of Det. Kaga and the friend, Nonoguchi, the reader is thrust into a creative mind game of cat and mouse. Is Nonoguchi really the good friend to Hidaka that he claims or an unreliable narrator? And when the truth finally comes out, is there still more to be uncovered?

Just when the reader thinks the novel is over, Higashino throws another curve and Kaga must take off yet again. It’s this increasing spiral that will keep readers riveted to the page as Kaga matches wits with an uncanny killer. Fans of a true puzzle mystery will be delighted.