Book Club: The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

It’s been 3 months that me and my friends have inaugurated our book club and third month also means third book! For the month of March, we decided we would go for the Murder Mystery. After a randomized wheel of fortune, it landed on my pick of the month which is The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada.

“This was my fave book that we read so far – but I didn’t love it !” -Matthew


The novel starts with the psychopath’s letter in why he behaves the way he did and that was enough to hook me. The style was raw and very fixated on his dark thoughts and his fascination on women and how he sets forth to create the perfect woman.

“A seemingly sheepish tale with an ending that does not disappoint. Soji Shimada’s imaginative novel allows the readers to participate in a captivating and mind-bending investigation. Travel across Japan with two friends on their journey to uncover what no one before them has been able to.” – Anton


With an extremely attention to the details and to the clues, the author had successfully pushed us in a game of guessing who the culprit might be and how the puzzle started. He also included a locked-room mystery a part of the investigation for the fans of The Mystery of The Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux.

“A sometimes confusing yet thrilling ride, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders takes us on an epic quest for vengeance. Follow two amateur detectives as they discover the sordid secrets of the Umezawa family. Grab a notebook, remember to write details down and follow along as the story unfolds.” – Dominique

I would have to agree with Dominique however, the clues can be at times TOO detailed and it can be quite confusing to follow up haha. Anytime he mentioned coordinates and the region of Tokyo to the center, I completely blanked. It might be helpful after all to read it with a map on your side.


One of the most interesting details of the book was his use of Astrology to establish the whole concept for this mystery murder.  As Alexa mentions :

“This murder mystery novel takes readers on a adventure across Japan. Interested in how celestial bodies influence human affairs and behaviours? This story explores on a whole new level the study astrology throughout its plot which keeps readers hooked and guessing from start to finish. An easy read which you may find hard to put down.”

Overall, it’s still a very entertaining read and as an author’s first novel, I would have to applaud him.

“As Soji Shimada’s (and my) introduction to the genre, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders is an overall well-rounded murder mysteries. Hooking strong a la Suskind or Easton Ellis, the front-loaded expositional dump is fortunately balanced out by the Holmes and Watson conversational pace, split into 5 acts. Personally, I find the ending tends a little too Occam-y; nonetheless it remains a great reading for those looking for a well-written foreign whodunnit.”- William



8 thoughts on “Book Club: The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

  1. Wow!! As an astrology enthusiast, I’m very intrigued with how this book incorporated it with murder. I love how you structured this review (adding other reviews as well to corroborate!) Also, might I ask where I can join this book club?


  2. I don’t often read murder-mysteries, but The Tokyo Zodiac Murders sounds really interesting. I’m really curious to see how astrology was incorporated into the story. I love how you wove in snippets from other members of the book club, very effective.


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