Death of the Reader

2SER 107.3FM

Join Flex and Herds as they take you on a Murder Mystery World Tour in Death of the Reader. From classic British puzzles in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction to the weirdest of foreign detective fiction, explore everything in the grizzly world of the 'locked room'. Each week we'll feature academics, authors and more as we trace the influences of the genre around the world.

All Episodes

We discuss chapters 1-24 of Nev March's historical mystery, 'Murder in Old Bombay'. Retired Captain Jim Agnihotri finds himself as a new-hire journalist in Bombay, only to have an immediate promotion to Private Detective under the eye of Adi Framji, a young widower whose wife died in mysterious circumstances some weeks earlier. Bonding over their mutual sense of loss, and with a growing attachment to the lively - but grieving - Framji family, Jim sets out to ensure justice is done for this bungled investigation.We're joined this week by Nev March herself to talk about challenging her own community through Jim's eyes, and how the familial bonds tie this story together.

Nov 28

30 min

We discuss chapters 7-8 of María Angélica Bosco's 'Death Going Down', translated by Lucy Greaves. The novel comes to a bewildering end, with dramatic re-enactments, disappearing dogs and apparating new characters with the ability to disappear. This charming Argentinian novel has us a little torn, but we still think it's a worthy read as we come to the pointy end of 2021.

Nov 21

30 min

We discuss chapters 4-6 of María Angélica Bosco's 'Death Going Down', translated by Lucy Greaves. As the interrogations go on, Inspector Blasi is taking his time getting to know the suspects, and soon some relationships between the inhabitants of the tower start to pique his interest. Why did the power go out? Why was Gabby at the Eidinger's house? Can Herds figure it all out in time? The clock is ticking and a new face impends.We're also joined by translator Brian Karetnyk to talk about the art of translation, and his upcoming version of 'The Village of Eight Graves' by Seishi Yokomizo, with Pushkin Vertigo.

Nov 14

30 min

We discuss chapters 1-3 of María Angélica Bosco's debut mystery 'Death Going Down', translated by Lucy Greaves. After Frida Eidinger, a German immigrant, is found dead in the elevator of an apartment block in Buenos Aires, the police go through the motions resolving her apparent suicide, but the lead investigators have doubts. Who in this small tower could be responsible for Frida's death? It's up to Inspectors Ericourt, Blasi, and new recruit Muck to crack the case.We're also joined by Dr. L.J.M. Owen, author of The Great Divide and head of the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival to talk about its 2021 return, the lineup, and the important literacy goals it strives for.

Nov 7

30 min

In our Halloween Spooktacular, we're joined by Brad Friedman from Ah Sweet Mystery to discuss Agatha Christie's infamous 'Hallowe'en Party' and its 2011 British Television adaptation with a screenplay by Mark Gatiss. Taking very direct inspiration from elsewhere in her own franchises, Agatha Christie penned a derivative tale that Gatiss has reworked into a charming, if bizarre, romp for perfect Halloween viewing. From architectural antagonists to a nose-bludgeoning metaphor in the form of a bed-ridden author who can't come up with fresh ideas, the captivating performances of David Suchet and his co-stars turn this missable novel into something a bit more special.We also sit down to discuss our draft rankings for this year's 'Review Season', our annual year-end recommendations based on what we've covered through the year. If you have any opinions you want to squeeze onto our desks before the final rankings - send them to us via @FlexAndHerds on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

Oct 31

30 min

Flex's quest to disgrace the origins of Murder Mystery continues as we not only put forward solutions for Poe's second mystery, but also the true crime that inspired it. Is it possible, nearly 200 years on, to discern a nature to these crimes other than their traditionally presented solution? After listening to True Crime podcasts for aeons, surely we have the tools prepared to debunk this long-cold case. We're also joined by Sam Twyford-Moore from Faber Writing Academy to talk about the work they do fostering new Australian writing talent, in celebration of their support for 2SER's annual Radiothon.It's currently RADIOTHON over on our home station, 2SER 107.3. Independent media is one of the great necessities of a free and open society. For over 40 years, 2SER has been a fearless and independent source for news, views and great music, and your support keeps us on air. If that's important to you, become a subscriber on the website!

Oct 24

30 min

Our Halloween spooktacular begins with the grandfathers of Murder Mystery, with a little twist. Despite being familiar with the solutions, Flex is challenged with putting together a unified solution for Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue & The Purloined Letter. Is it possible to explain the exploits of Dupin with just one trick, linking the gothic horror master's puzzles together? We also sit down with Christian Henriksson from 'Mysteries, Short and Sweet' to talk more about Poe's influence on our beloved genre, from damsels in distress to the true crime stories of the present day.It's currently RADIOTHON over on our home station, 2SER 107.3. Independent media is one of the great necessities of a free and open society. For over 40 years, 2SER has been a fearless and independent source for news, views and great music, and your support keeps us on air. If that's important to you, become a subscriber on the website!

Oct 17

30 min

During our discussion of Theodore Roscoe's 'Murder on the Way!', you might have heard us mention Death Among the Undead, which was recently translated by Ho-Ling Wong published by Locked Room International, adding to their collection of both niche and incredibly significant translated works from Japan. We sat down with John Pugmire from Locked Room International to talk a bit about what goes into selecting a book for their imprint, the exciting premise of Death Among the Undead, as well as his own translation work.

Oct 11

18 min 10 sec

We discuss chapters 1-14 of Theodore Roscoe's Murder on the Way! Edited by Jim Noy of The Invisible Event and In GAD We Trust. An unfortunate adventure into the Haitian wilderness results in Cart buried alive, it seems our tale is over. Fortunately for Cart, it turns out Pete Dale was the detective all along, and we end up in a tempestuous confrontation with our killer in the mansion after her daring rescue. How petty will Jim Noy be with the points he was offered? Find out in this thrilling conclusion to a bewildering pulp tale.

Oct 10

30 min

We discuss chapters 6-9 of Theodore Roscoe's Murder on the Way! Edited by Jim Noy of The Invisible Event and In GAD We Trust. Cart and Pete are caught in the middle of the tontine, with corpses dropping around them as the guests at the mansion vie for wealth. Meanwhile, in the storm outside, a zombie rallies the local population into an uprising that sweeps the safety net out from under the survivors. Can Flex and Herds settle on a solution, or will contest divide them?

Oct 3

30 min

In modern crime fiction, or perhaps just modern fiction, there are few authors as prolific and genre-diverse as Anthony Horowitz, so it was a delight to have him on the show to cap off our 2021 journey through Metafiction to discuss his latest, 'A Line To Kill', as well as the many ideas and themes we've been investigating on this leg of our Murder Mystery World Tour. From unlikely thematic pairings, the inversion of the writer in his portrayal of himself, to the homework he does to put together a compelling puzzle, we did our best to hit all the ideas of A Line To Kill (and Magpie Murders!) without spoilers, so enjoy at your leisure!

Sep 28

18 min 50 sec

We discuss chapters 1-5 of Theodore Roscoe's Murder on the Way! Edited by Jim Noy of The Invisible Event and In GAD We Trust, this pulp nightmare of a murder mystery takes the whole island of Haiti and turns it into the country house of the Golden Age. Artist Edwin 'Cart' Cartershall and Patricia 'Pete' Dale are invited to the funeral of Pete's distant relative, Eli Proudfoot. A bizarre tontine encouraging the attendees to kill one another promises Eli's fortune to whoever remains on the island for 24 hours after the reading of the will, and of course, the body-count rises to meet it. In a head-to-head collaboration for points, can Flex and Herds actually work together before Jim escapes with the goods?We're also joined by Anthony Horowitz, author of Magpie Murders and many other books, to talk about the latest entry in his Daniel Hawthorne series, 'A Line To Kill', and what inspires the innovative metafictions with which he's been challenging the crime fiction world.

Sep 27

30 min

We discuss parts 9-12 of Emma Stonex's 'The Lamplighters', as the waves calm and the true detective of the story steps into the light. What really happened on the Maiden? We get our answer, but whose answer is it? Does it constitute truth, and does that matter? As each question is replaced by the next, the surface calms and this queasy story comes to a gentle end. We're joined this week by Emma Stonex, to pick further into the decisions behind the story, the impact it's had and the previously unseen influence it has on her new story.

Sep 20

30 min

We discuss parts 5-8 of Emma Stonex's 'The Lamplighters', its chaos and turbulence only growing as we approach the inevitable incident that spurred the whole story on. In 1972, the three keepers on the lighthouse grow distrustful. Their secrets are brought to bear, and an agent of chaos arrives amid distressing visions of bodies and ghosts. In 1992, the widows try to reconcile their differences, turning their cold distrust of Dan Sharp into a catalyst for growth. Through all this can Herds discern the identity of culprit and conspirator?We've got an excerpt this week from the wonderful 'In GAD We Trust' podcast, hosted by Jim Noy of The Invisible Event, in preparation for him joining us for our next book. He sat down a few weeks ago to speak with Tony Medawar about his fourth 'Bodies in the Library' collection and the processes that went into it. You can find the full episode here, be sure to give it a listen!

Sep 13

30 min

We discuss parts 1-4 of Emma Stonex's 'The Lamplighters', with its haunting lyricism here to spook Herds off the scent of truth. Three men disappear from 'The Maiden', leaving the perfect mystery in their wake. Twenty years later, writer Dan Sharp shows up to unravel the case, speaking with the women who were left behind. Raising many questions about the genre we inhabit, there's a lot to soak in here, and the book doesn't make it easy, even though the effort is worth it.We're also joined by Associate Professor of Narratology, Dr. Tom van Laer, from the University of Sydney, to talk about how the shifting perspectives and work the book asks of you engages and endears it to its audience.

Sep 6

30 min

We discuss Parts 6-7 of 'Magpie Murders' by Anthony Horowitz, with Andrew Pople from 2SER's 'Final Draft' in the hotseat. Susan's amateur-sleuth-editing career pays off as we reach the dramatic, burning conclusion of Magpie Murders. This dramatic send-off for both Pund and his author ends with a bizarre reveal that left us scratching our heads. Do both Horowitz' and Conway's stories meet the mark of fair play, and did they even try to?

Aug 30

30 min

We discuss Parts 5-6 (up to the Road to Framlingham) of 'Magpie Murders' by Anthony Horowitz, with Andrew Pople from 2SER's 'Final Draft' in the hotseat. The end of Alan Conway's 'Magpie Murders' is missing, and the author himself has turned up dead in dramatic circumstances. Can his discovering editor Susan Ryeland find out what happened before things collapse further, or did she do the crime herself? We've got a new layer of reality to contend with and Andrew Pople is ready to unravel every thread, or so he thinks.

Aug 23

30 min

We discuss Parts 1-4 of 'Magpie Murders' by Anthony Horowitz, with Andrew Pople from 2SER's 'Final Draft' in the hotseat. A murder occurs in Saxby-on-Avon, and detective Atticus Pund refuses the call. A second murder occurs in Saxby-on-Avon, and Atticus Pund answers the call, only to find a history of death and deceit in the small town. Above all this, an unnamed editor warns us that Alan Conway's 'Magpie Murders', featuring Atticus Pund, changed their life. Can Andrew Pople unravel reality in time?We're also joined by Dr. Lucy Andrew and Dr. Samuel Saunders to talk about their new 'Study in Sidekicks', an academic exploration of the real heroes of detective fiction and beyond. Who are the sidekicks, how have they evolved, and what do they do for us?

Aug 16

30 min

In case you missed it, we had a lovely long chat with Sulari Gentill as part of our recent episodes on her award-winning 'Crossing the Lines', also known as 'After She Wrote Him'. From the book's writing, to its publishing and reception, we do our best to cover it all! Listen in to hear our full discussion including more reality-bending, sausage-roll-logistics, and more!

Aug 13

31 min 35 sec

We discuss chapters 20-24 of Sulari Gentill's 'Crossing the Lines'. Ned and Maddie's spiral into madness approaches its crescendo as their relationships with the people around them start to crumble. Maddie's relationship with her husband begins to collapse after Ned writes him potentially having an affair, and Ned's relationship with Willow dissolves as it becomes clear what the truth is behind the murder of Geoffrey Vogel is. Is there any way back from the abyss?We're joined one again by Sulari Gentill to talk about the maddening details that nearly sent us spiraling into that same abyss as we read the book, and we finally try figure out what 'pantsing' actually is.

Aug 9

30 min

We discuss chapters 9-19 of Sulari Gentill's 'Crossing the Lines'. As the two writers slowly pull each other closer, the lines between reality are blurred, and things go a little off the rails. Madeleine and Edward begin to crave one another, at the expense of the people around them. When they're in control of each other's lives, is there any way they can pull away before it's all too late?We're also joined by Tim Ayliffe, author of the John Bailey thriller series, to talk about the latest entry in the series, 'The Enemy Within', the true events and fears it draws from, as well as the importance of a strong counterpart to your protagonist.

Aug 2

30 min

We discuss chapters 1-8 of Sulari Gentill's 'Crossing the Lines'. Nobody saw the writer do it, but you're about to. Edward McGinnity has come up with this wonderful new character, crime fiction writer Madeleine d'Leon. She's a bit tired of writing her detective serials and wants to do something new, so she's come up with this wonderful new character, Edward McGinnity, a literary author. He's about to write a new tale of the human condition, starring crime fiction writer... I think you get the idea. As their complex tales entwine and bewilder, can you determine who is really writing who?We're joined by Sulari herself to talk about what motivated her to write this book, how she perceives her characters, and the reception this amazing book received upon its release.

Jul 26

30 min

We discuss chapters 64-115 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. This sprightly novel comes to a surprisingly sombre end. The balancing act of Richard Osman's bouncy characters and delivery against the heavy implications of each crime helps this novel sing. The club solves the case, Donna solves hers, and the most underestimated character of all manages to win our grizzled hearts in the end.

Jul 19

30 min

We discuss chapters 33-63 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. As the club continues to get ahead of the police investigation, Tony Curran continues his plans to excavate the graveyard, at least until he is rudely interrupted by becoming deceased. Two deaths are now on the cards, and the residents of Cooper's Chase are only drawn in closer as they themselves become suspects. We're also joined by Ajay Chowdhury to talk about his debut crime novel 'The Waiter'. Kamil, a disgraced detective-turned-waiter is embroiled in his old work after a socialite is found dead in a swimming pool hours after a dinner at Kamil's restaurant.

Jul 12

30 min

We discuss chapters 1-32 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. Joyce is the newest member of the titular club, a group of crime enthusiasts at Coopers' Chase. When one of the retirement home's purveyors winds up dead in his own home, the club springs into action to ensure things are solved, and also just because it's good fun. Whether it's getting the local police detective drunk or making a scene posing as nuns to steal case information, nothing is off the table for this gang of magical crime solving criminals.We're also joined by R.W.R. McDonald to talk about his latest novel, 'Nancy Business'. Another gang of unlikely sleuths, at the opposite end of the age and queer spectrums, set about trying to solve a horrific attack in small-town New Zealand, and we spoke to Rob about why we shouldn't underestimate the people around us.

Jul 5

30 min

We discuss episodes 7-8 of Rooster Teeth's 'Dead Little Roosters', directed by Josh Flanagan and Fiona Nova. Most of the cast is dead, the end of the Dead Little Roosters Addendum approaches, the truth becomes increasingly apparent, but the game is not yet done. The killer still has their justice fated, and someone supposedly survives. How many steps of the riddle did you get right? We're also joined by Josh Flanagan himself to talk about the way the pandemic spurred the creation of the series, the amazing production design and more.

Jun 28

30 min

We sat down with Inkle Studios' Narrative Designer, Jon Ingold, to talk about their new surprise-release mystery game Overboard! On a trip from London to New York, you get sick of your husband and throw him overboard, and now you've got to get away with it. Set in the 1930s, this youdunnit takes the ideas we explored in The Last Express, flips them on their head and dials up the urgency. From hiding goals from the player, to an impassioned rant about a contentious mechanic in the game, Jon tells us all about what went into this wonderful new addition to the mystery pantheon.

Jun 25

35 min 34 sec

We discuss episodes 1-6 of Rooster Teeth's 'Dead Little Roosters', directed by Josh Flanagan and Fiona Nova. Ten of Rooster Teeth's staff arrive for a party at the estate of the wealthy Nicodemus, only for the old man to turn up dead. The ten are then locked in their rooms, and as the gang keep themselves entertained, the body count starts to rise in rhythm with a mysterious poem, the 'Dead Little Roosters Addendum'. Who will survive, and who is the killer? With real prizes on the line, it's up to the audience to figure it out in this interactive mystery competition (or at least it was when it was airing).We're also joined by Jon Ingold, Narrative Designer for Inkle Studios to talk about their awesome new youdunnit mystery game, Overboard! From keeping players engaged with a rotating set of goals, and investing your players in a murderous protagonist, it's a beautiful culmination of many of the ideas we've been discussing over the course of our interactive leg of the tour.

Jun 21

30 min

We discuss all the way to the true ending of Lucas Pope's 'Return of the Obra Dinn'. A year after finishing your work aboard the ghost ship, a package arrives that promises to answer your remaining questions, but it seems only more ambiguity is abound. We're super excited to be joined by Lucas Pope himself to talk about what went into making the game, the tough journey that nearly sank the game, and the lasting impact the game had on its players. Lucas' timelapse of creating the dioramas that make the bulk of the game.Be sure to check out the livestream we did playing this section of the game!

Jun 14

30 min

We discuss up to the incomplete end of Lucas Pope's modern classic mystery game 'Return of the Obra Dinn'. The highest body-count we've ever encountered is a vast challenge as Herds takes the wheel for our second step into interactive fiction. After the titular ship appears, unmanned, off the coast of Falmouth in the UK, you're sent on as an insurance assessor to find out why the good ship never made it around the tip of Africa, and how it got back with no souls onboard. With a magical pocketwatch, you're here to solve the death of every single one of the sixty people on board when the ship departed.We're also joined by B. Michael Radburn to talk about his latest novel 'The Reach', blending the supernatural with crime fiction, and the masks we put on our monsters in horror fiction. Thanks to regular co-conspirator Sean Britten for joining us with some great monster-related queries.Be sure to check out the livestream we did of Herds' first experience playing the game!

Jun 7

30 min

We discuss from Munich to the end of the game from Jordan Mechner's 'The Last Express'. After a bit more success in navigating the social charades aboard the Orient Express, Robert Cath finds himself with new friends, plenty more new foes, and the train now hijacked by the Serbians. As the end of the line approaches, your actions controlling Cath will decide the fate of the journey, culminating with the start of World War One, which has started without the passenger's knowledge since they boarded in Paris. We chat the ups and downs of this climactic finish to a beautiful adventure game.We're also thrilled to be joined by Karl-Heinz Teuber, the actor for Herr August Schmidt in The Last Express, to talk about his career and his memories of filming the game.Be sure to catch up on our livestream playing through this section of the game!

May 31

30 min

We discuss from the beginning to Vienna's bad ending in Jordan Mechner's 1997 game 'The Last Express'. After years of pestering, Herds finally gets his way as we begin our detour into interactive mystery fiction with his favourite classic adventure game. We board the Orient Express alongside Robert Cath, who finds his acquaintance Tyler Whitney dead on the floor of his carriage. With no ticket, no plan and the police after him, Cath sets about trying to survive the journey with a vibrant cast of characters that speak to a world on the verge of war.We're also joined by James Dalton, chief archivist for the Australian Railway Historical Society NSW to talk about our own rail history, and the important work that volunteer archivists do in maintaining the history of the world's railways.Check out our livestream playing through this game for the episode!

May 24

30 min

Listen to our full chat with Dr. Catherine Noske for her novel 'The Salt Madonna'! We discuss why stories with such tight confines take so long to put together, why twisting well-worn narratives can be so important, and why horses are wiser than we can ever know.Get yourself a copy of The Salt Madonna: Pan Macmillan AU || Booktopia || Goodreads

May 20

18 min 45 sec

We discuss chapters 14 to the end of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'. Sean Britten's valiant attempts to solve the novel have concluded, and it's time for the post-mortem. Soldier Island's unwitting residents grow increasingly distrusting, a bear manages to kill someone, and the final showdown creates only a temporary truth. Did you manage to solve it?We're also joined by Dr. Catherine Noske to talk about her novel 'The Salt Madonna', the experiences that inspired it and its' intelligent twists on classic tropes.

May 17

30 min

We discuss chapters 7-13 of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None', with Sean Britten in the hotseat. As the deaths to the tune of the poem continue, the list of suspects shrinks, and so does the distrust of everyone on the island. With the only firearm missing, the death starting to abandon the poison-driven method that had everyone distrusting the doctor, and no help in sight, what happens next? It's all-out on Sean's solutions as Flex and Herds lay on every trick in the book.

May 10

30 min

We discuss chapters 1-6 of Agatha Christie's iconic 'And Then There Were None'. Ten people arrive on Soldier Island, invited at the behest of one U.N. Owen, only to find no host, no answers and only almost perfect strangers to keep them company. A record player recounts their sins, and then the death of Anthony Marston begins the recitation of a poem fixed to the walls, threatening that none shall be left alive. With Flex and Herds both familiar with this tale, it's our arch-nemesis Sean Britten, author of 'Kill Switch', in the hotseat. We also chat with Martin Edwards, current chair of The Detection Club. From 'Howdunit', the club's 90th anniversary book on all the secrets behind mystery fiction, to Christie's mastery of human nature, and his own latest mystery 'Mortmain Hall', Martin's mystery expertise has held us steady since the show began.

May 3

30 min

We discuss chapters 10-12, the sixth through eighth days of Yukito Ayatsuji's 'The Decagon House Murders'. When the Police see the island of Tsunojima light yet again, they set about trying to unravel the Decagon House Murders, recovering the six bodies of the K University Mystery Club, and the missing corpse from the earlier Blue Mansion Murders. Will they ever find out there's one too few bodies on the island, or will the maligned Seiji be pinned with both incidents? The unfathomable ending to this iconic mystery looms!We're also joined by David Arrowsmith, the author of 'Nevada Noir', a short story collection set in the Silver State, to talk about the driving themes of the novel and the challenges of releasing independent work online. US || UK

Apr 26

30 min

We discuss chapters 7-9, the fourth and fifth days of Yukito Ayatsuji's 'The Decagon House Murders'. With the number of survivors on the island continuing to thin, so too does the list of culprits. A suspicious set of footprints found alongside a body on the island affirms Ellery's theory that Seiji is alive and out for vengeance, whilst on the mainland, Kojiro tells Conan quite the opposite. The true face of Ayatsuji's mansion murders bears its head as the debut sprints towards its climax. We also chat with Emma Stonex, author of 'The Lamplighters' about why islands are the perfect place for a locked room mystery and the incident that inspired it.

Apr 19

30 min

Today on the podcast, we have the extended cut of our discussion with Dr. Satomi Saito, including more about the social contexts that helped murder mystery fiction blossom in Japan, from its post-war spiritual contexts, to the inexplicable audience Soji Shimada found with a younger audience, and Dr. Saito's research into Online Novels and the way they continue the social discourse that spurred detective fiction on. We also got Dr. Saito to send us a list of some of the best Japanese works he'd love to see translated into English, which you can find here.

Apr 15

32 min 56 sec

We discuss chapters 1-6, the first three days, of Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders. A team of students from the K University Mystery Club take a week away to Tsunojima to work on the next issue of their club magazine. Tsunojima, a few months before, was the site of a gruesome series of murders that the police have called a murder-suicide, and soon after arriving on the island, the group finds a series of plates that foretell their doom. Is the same murderer out for more blood, or is one of their own continuing the island's curse? We also speak to Dr. Satomi Saito, professor of Japanese from Clemson University about his dissertation on Japanese Detective Fiction, the history of the 'Shin Honkaku' school and his role in getting Ayatsuji's work published in the west.

Apr 12

30 min

We discuss chapter 8 and the epilogue of Masako Togawa's 'The Master Key'. This back-loaded mystery closes out with spectacular fashion, the culprit revealed, the various sub-plots untangled and almost all your questions answered. How well does this approach suit the work, and does it fit in to our normal cat-and-mouse game? With such a heavy focus on motherhood and the expectations placed on women, it's undoubtedly a worthwhile read to shake up the normal fare of the Japanese mystery field. We're also delighted to be joined by Caroline Crampton from the Shedunnit podcast to talk about her recent episode on Honkaku mysteries, how the show came to be, and a retrospective on our arch nemesis, The Floating Admiral.

Apr 5

30 min

In need of a new murder mystery podcast? We were too when we found Caroline Crampton's incredible Shedunnit, a series of essay-like journeys through the mystique and history of the mystery genre. Coincidentally, Caroline's own journey took her to Japan and the Honkaku, or 'traditional' school of murder mystery at the same time we were, and we are super excited to present to you this engaging episode about it here on Death of the Reader. You'll come away a wiser reader with every episode of Shedunnit; this one features a discussion with On Nomoto, the grandson of Seishi Yokomizo, and Daniel Seton, the powerhouse behind Pushkin Press' Pushkin Vertigo imprint, both of whom were instrumental in bringing stories like The Honjin Murders to English speakers. Our enormous thanks to Caroline for talking with us, and letting us feature this fantastic episode here on your Murder Mystery World Tour.

Mar 31

21 min 57 sec

We discuss parts 3-7 of The Master Key by Masako Togawa. Our journey hops between the various women living at the K Apartment for Ladies, following the Master Key as it goes from person to person, enabling crimes, justice and chaos. Is someone behind the scenes pulling the strings? The construction date looms as the threat of truth approaches. We're also joined by Rebecca Starford, Publishing Director and CEO of Kill Your Darlings Magazine to talk about the magazine, her work as an editor, and her latest book The Imitator.

Mar 28

30 min

We discuss parts 1-2 of The Master Key by Masako Togawa. With three potential murders, no detective, no crime scene and seven years of subject matter, the standards of murder mystery are out the window and Herds is completely at sea. A home for single women founded after World War 2 is about to be hauled to a new site to make way for infrastructure decades after its initial opening. All the inhabitants are preparing for the big event, wherein the workmen have promised them that even a full glass of water won't spill as the building moves. In the months leading up to the move, the Master Key has gone missing, and all manner of tumultuous events foreshadow something sinister. Can grim fates be prevented? We also speak with Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books about the challenges in finding translated works, running a small publisher, and the initial stages of our chaotic manuscript, which you can now read over on the 2SER website.

Mar 21

30 min

We discuss Acts 4 to 5 of Soji Shimada's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders. At the end of last arc, Soji Shimada stepped in and warned us that the solution was long-since possible, but there were still two arts to go. Having gone their separate ways to find Azoth, Kiyoshi and Kazumi reunite at Kyoto's Philosopher's Walk to discuss their ideas. A screaming realisation would make it seem Kiyoshi has solved the case, but how could that be possible? We also speak with Associate Professor Rebecca Suter about her upcoming talk in the Japan Foundation's 'Read Japan' series, focusing on 1980s and 1990s Japanese Literature. Where does Shimada lie in that field?

Mar 14

30 min

We discuss Acts 2 to 3 of Soji Shimada's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders. After exploring the decades-old case thoroughly, Kiyoshi and Kazumi take a train to Kyoto and try a more boots-on-the-ground approach to solving this famous armchair detective's case. After going their separate ways to cover more ground, Kazumi finds a lead that suggests the late Heikichi Umezawa may be more prompt than he seems. We also have Craig Sisterton back to talk about his #100Days100Books project, and some of his recommendations for upcoming crime fiction.

Mar 7

30 min

We discuss Act 1 and the Policeman's Confession in Soji Shimada's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders. A series of gruesome murders all but destroys the Umezawa family in 1936, but the alleged culprit died before the crime took place. All that's left is Heikichi Umezawa's bizarre recipe for creating the perfect woman from the pieces of his daughters, and some indiscernible forensic evidence. 43 years in the future, Kazumi Ishioka and Kiyoshi Mitarai sit down to try unravel the case from the comfort of their own home, with new evidence that may help finally solve this cold case. Can the duo do it, or will they fail like the dozens before them? We also talk with Ann Chapman about her debut crime novel, A Kind of Catharsis, and the personal stories that helped shape it.You can also check out Craig Sisterton's interview with Soji Shimada here.

Feb 28

30 min

We discuss chapters 14-17 of Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto. With an absurd conclusion to a series of impossible crimes, our struggle between the young and the old leaves a trail of contradictions that seem insurmountable but still manages to satisfy. How did Seicho Matsumoto manage to pull off something this singularly bizarre and compelling, and how has it influenced those who came after him? We also talk with our arch-nemesis Sean Britten about our latest project, the book we're writing this year! Make sure you find us on social media @FlexandHerds so you don't miss your chance to screw with our plans.

Feb 21

30 min

We discuss chapters 9-13 of Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto. With the body count mounting, and the killer seemingly responding to Imanishi's movements, the risks are high and to celebrate, we go watch movies. Can Herds transform his ludicrous solution about sci-fi weapons into something that will earn him points, or is our first book of the new year going to end in tears? We're also joined by Ben Sanders to talk about his new novel The Devils You Know, and the ways he uses the tools of the thriller genre to send his new protagonist to hell and back.

Feb 14

30 min

Catch our full chat with Dr. L.J.M. Owen about her book The Great Divide and the Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival. We talk about how the innovative Booklove Tuesdays came to be, how the festival brings literacy to a community in need, and the implications of The Great Divide's grim crimes. We've also got a challenge for you to find the fictional town of Dunton, Tasmania.

Feb 11

26 min 34 sec