Source: DreaMaga 2004, November issue
An Autumn Of...
"Something anyone can enjoy."
That is the first rule of any column. But is that really all there is? Why not, "something nobody can enjoy"?
...And that is why I give this column the title "An Autumn of Reading", and will talk in a self-centered and highly personal way about mystery fiction.
...I have been possessed by detectives for a long time now. It's been more than twenty years now, ever since I came across Edogawa Rampo's short story Shinri Shiken (The Psychological Test) in elementary school. The books I pick up for myself are almost horrifyingly all mystery novels. And by now, my body has become intolerant to stories that don't any offer surprises in their conclusion.
...Perhaps "love" is not the right word to describe my condition...
Now I look back at my youth. Doyle, Queen, Carr... The classic works of the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" from abroad were absolutely brimming with original, never-before-seen surprises. Some of the more famous names are Sherlock Holmes, Arsène Lupin, Akechi Kogorou.... you certainly must have heard about these names.
If you allow me to name some more heroes from my youth, I'd mention Father Brown, A Aiichirou, the attorney Randolph Mason, and that other Holmes whose first name is Shlock.
How to plot and write the text for the stories in Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney): I learned all of that from them.
In my opinion, "surprises" are everything for mystery fiction. Sadly enough, contemporary Japanese mystery fiction seems to have forgotten about offering new surprises, and is in a winter sleep.
But some day.
In these long autumn nights I once again frown at a dubious work, as I dream of the arrival of a new "Golden Age".
...I hope to see you again next month!