One of Japan's most popular mystery writers delivers "scenes of fastidiously executed decadence" in a "tale of sexual obsession" (The New York Times Book Review).
Kinue Nomura survived World War II only to be murdered in Tokyo, her severed limbs discovered in a room locked from the inside. Gone is the part of her that bore one of the most beautiful full-body tattoos ever rendered. Kenzo Matsushita, a young doctor who was first to discover the crime scene, feels compelled to assist his detective brother, who is in charge of the case. But Kenzo has a secret: he was Kinue's lover, and soon his involvement in the investigation becomes as twisted and complex as the writhing snakes that once adorned Kinue's torso.
The Tattoo Murder Case was originally published in 1948; this is the first English translation.
"Clever, kinky, highly entertaining." —The Washington Post Book World
"A delightful, different book, not only because of its unusual setting and premise, but because Takagi is a powerful plotter and constructor of fascinating, complex characters." —The A.V. Club
"Has all the mind-boggling braininess and dazzling artifice of mystery's Golden Age, spiced with voyeuristic close-ups of a dying art in which postwar Japan remains supreme: full-body tattoos . . . Intricate, fantastic, and utterly absorbing. More, please." —Kirkus Reviews