ebook A Novel of Food and Murder

By Asako Yuzuki

cover image of Butter

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A highly fresh and original novel following a journalist in contemporary Japan as she investigates a serial killer convicted of luring wealthy men in with her cooking classes only to seduce, murder, and rob them, and a gripping exploration of misogyny, obsession, and the pleasures and pressures of food

Journalist Rika Machida is facing an unusual assignment: she is tapped to investigate serial killer Manako Kajii, notorious for drawing rich men in with her pricey cooking classes, only to murder them and move on to the next. Kajii refuses to cooperate with the press until Rika writes her a letter asking for her beef stew recipe, a correspondence and ongoing series of conversations between the two women that sees Rika transforming as she becomes closer to Kajii, taking on some of her confidence and strength but also some of her deadly intention. Game on.

Set in 2011, when dairy product shortages across Japan made butter a hot commodity, Butter depicts a vivid, panoramic view of contemporary Japan as seen through a diverse cast of Japanese women. An endlessly entertaining and sharply insightful look at the relationships between women and how they engage and challenge one another, revealing the many contradictions and complexities in the process, Asako Yuzuki's novel is filled with intoxicating descriptions of food and the body that also looks deeply at its connection to the sinister, criminal, and taboo, its enduring power and delight.