A Midsummer Equation (Detective Galileo # 6) by Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (translator)
I love Higashino’s detective secrets and wish they were all translated – he’s huge in Japan! First a note on # 6 in the series – you don’t have to read these in the correct order, you can only technically do it by reading the untranslated original works as they have not all been translated into English and those have not been fixed . Publish, am I right? So take what sounds best first, and then read them all.
Now for A Midsummer’s Equation: it has so many elements of the genre that are nicely put together that it is perfect for rolling up with a mysterious book. The premise is: A guest dies in a family inn in Hari Cove, an economically troubled tourist town, and the question is, “Was it murder or an accident?” They follow the members of the family inn, mainly the visiting nephew and daughter who works at the inn but also fights a company that is mining its ocean underwater. We don’t follow one, not two, but three crime solvers: the small town police, who rule the man who falls into the water in an accident; the Tokyo police, who ask for an autopsy and suspect a bad game, especially if they discover it is a former detective who has died; and Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college professor known as Detective Galileo for helping the detectives in Tokyo.
There’s a lot to love here, from the way the mystery is built and uncovered, which, with a bit of Sherlock, reminds me of old school mysteries: the different perspectives; a nice armchair trip to Japan; and Detective Galileo, who hooks up with the inn’s nephew and conducts scientific experiments with him. If you want to solve a complex puzzle and don’t want dark, grainy, or graphical representations, this is your book. (TW short discussions about the possibility of suicide / mentions after the cancer death, secondary character with brain tumor)