Introduction: Goodness me, it has been a very long time since I last reviewed a book, not since late August of 2015!! Unfortunately, the demands on my time during the school year have made reading fiction nearly impossible. Indeed, during the 2016-17 academic year, as I ended up writing over 160 pages worth of essays, I was only able to read one work of fiction – Shusaku Endo’s Silence – but it was a book I felt I should not review on the blog. Now that summer is upon us, I can take a deep breath, step back from academia, and read a little bit more fiction. So I decided to treat myself with some mysteries. My reviewing may be a little rusty, so I please ask you to forgive me in advance.
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As Alice Arisugawa’s The Moai Island Puzzle begins, we are introduced to a group of students at Kyoto University who are on their way to Kashikijima Island in order to solve a puzzle leading to hidden treasure. One of these students is the author, Alice Arisugawa, who along with his friend Mr. Egami is heading to the island on the invitation of their friend Maria. (Alice, by the way, is a male name here.) Maria’s grandfather, Tetsunosuke Arima, hid a collection of diamonds somewhere on the island, but neglected to tell anyone the location of the treasure before dying. All that is known is that the moai statues all over the island, inspired by the Easter Island statues, are the key to solving the puzzle.
It doesn’t take long for the murders to begin, as two bodies are discovered. The victims were shot, but the rifle used is nowhere in the room, and all potential exits (the window and the only door) were locked. More mysterious events occur, and it is up to Mr. Egami to solve the puzzle, with Alice acting as his Watson.