Whaaaat the heck happened here. This was a mess.
In fact, I had such a different reading experience with this third translated book in the Kosuke Kindaichi series that I kind of have to wonder if it was me and not the book, since presumably the English publisher chose to translate and publish this one third out of all the many, many available books in the series for a reason (and it’s not third in original publication order). I really wasn’t expecting to have such a poopy time with it, but I did!
It started off pretty well, although to be honest I did have to rewind and listen to the first five minutes three times (this should have been a clue in hindsight). The story of the village and the eight graves was really interesting, but part of the problem here is that it was never fully utilized in the rest of the story! I kept waiting for it to matter, but it never did, and instead we got a convoluted and uninteresting (to me, I guess) story about a dude who finds himself unexpected heir to a fortune, and people around him are dropping like flies.
Firstly, Kosuke Kindaichi was barely in this at all. The main character is the inheritance dude, whose name I can’t be bothered to look up even though it would take like one second to do so. The result is that instead of getting a book about a quirky detective solving a mystery, we get a befuddled guy who spends half his time being befuddled and just watching as things go to shit around him. Being in his head was not fun. The story also jumped all over the place. I used the word “convoluted” above for a reason. Half the time, I was talking out loud to the audiobook, going, wait, what happened? Who is that? And when the answer was often “I don’t even care,” I knew this was going to be a two-star book.
The audio narrator was also a problem, which is extra strange, because I loved his performance in the first two books. But here he was called on to voice some truly hysterical people and he overacted the hell out of it. It got incredibly irritating. By the end I was telling the audiobook to shut up like every five minutes. Did you all know that women either talk softly and politely or cry uncontrollably and there is no in between?
I’m now wondering as I write this whether the switch in translators had anything to do with it. I’m betting the answer is yes.
So . . . not a success. I’m hopeful for further books in the series, though. I’ve got #4 up for Spooky Season, and chances are my experience with it will be more like it was with The Honjin Murders and The Inugami Curse than like this one.