Monday, May 24, 2010


Assistant professor Kita Hokuto invites his friend Saikawa Souhei and consequently Nishinosono Moe to the cyrogenic research facility he is working at. In the cyrogenic laboratory a murder happens. Despite all surveillance during the experiment, two students are found dead in a complete locked room situation. How did the culprit enter the room and how did he escape when even the two victims could not have entered the room in the first place?

While the second volume in the S&M Series by Mori Hiroshi clearly lacks the uncanniness, mystification and atmosphere of its predecessor, I feel like I'm not really disappointed as many other readers seem to have been. Yes, I do like すべてがFになる more than this one as a book in general. The characters were more interesting and the whole setting and atmosphere made it a more entertaining read. However I also liked how Mori showed with this volume, that he certainly also knows how to write an orthodox mystery that solely relies on logic and fairness. I did come up with some aspects of the solution but the case was constructed fairly well. Nevertheless the solution is also pretty unsurprising, if not to say mundane for any more or less experienced mystery reader.

One has to keep in mind though, that this was originally planned as the first volume of the series and Mori was told after he already wrote the series until すべてがFになる, which was going to be the fourth volume, that the most eccentric work is more convenient as Mori's debut and therefore his career as writer in general, so he rewrote his stuff and released what was originally planned as the first volume as the second one. Which kind of justifies its simplicity in contrast to his eventual eccentric predecessor. While the whole thing definitely was an effective strategy since I certainly wouldn't have been this interested in continuing with the series without すべてがFになる, 冷たい密室と博士たち on the other hand kind of suffers from that tactic, so maybe I'm going a little easy on it. Nevertheless it surely was a perfectly fine orthodox mystery, which managed to keep my interest in the series.

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