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Widely regarded as a Japanese cult classic, The Decagon House Murders is a 1987 dark mystery by Yukito Ayatsuji. The novel follows a group of students, who are part of K-University’s Mystery Club, as they embark on their annual trip to Tsunojima. But as they reach the isolated and potentially haunted island—the site of unsolved mass murders—the trip takes a meta turn. One of the students meets an ill fate, and the remaining classmates must use their collective knowledge of sleuthing to uncover the facts of the case and ensure their own survival. Ayatsuji honors the traditions of mystery’s honkaku, Japan’s take on the Golden Age puzzle-plot, while putting his own spin on the form. In 2015, Ayatsuji’s debut novel was translated to English by Ho-Ling Wong, and in 2021 it was also adapted into a manga by illustrator Hiro Kiyohara. —Armani Syed

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