Masako Togawa (1931-2016) was born in Tokyo. Her father died when she was young, and she spent the rest of her childhood living with her mother, in an apartment building for single women, which provided the inspiration for the setting of The Master Key. After leaving school, she worked as a typist for some years, before stepping onto the stage as a cabaret performer in 1954. She soon began to write backstage during the breaks between her performances, and in 1962, her debut novel The Master Key was published, and won the Edogawa Rampo Prize. She went on to become a hugely successful crime writer, but continued to lead a colourful parallel life as a singer, actress, feminist, nightclub owner and gay icon. She died in 2016 at the age of 83.
Fans of P.D. James, Robert Barnard and other literate writers in the genre will welcome this prize-winning author's first work... Superbly crafted and riveting from start to finish Kirkus Reviews Extraordinarily atmospheric Japanese thriller ... Miss Togawa writes with economy, subtlety and an astonishing feel for time, mood, and the eccentricities of loneliness. An eerie gem -- Marcel Berlins The Times As fascinating a weird yarn of mystery as you'll find... One word sums it up - superb! LA Times Starts out on a high note of tension and stays that way up until the very end Crime Segments A clever, creepy story Mail on Sunday The PD James of Japan Times Literary Supplement