Into the '50s, with a stop in Japan first
The clues all make sense at the end, and Higashino does a nice job planting details that let me flatter myself when I spotted their significance many pages later.
"She had been somewhere with someone, but she couldn’t quite remember the place or the person. As a matter of fact she had a feeling that she had been a number of places with a number of persons, but she couldn’t quite remember that for certain either."
"(I)t it was a small, sad, lovely face of fine structure in which sadness and loveliness would survive as a shadow of themselves after the erosions of gin and promiscuous love and nervous breakdowns."
"She was tall, blackhaired, with creamy skin and what I thought of simply as `Mexican' eyes. Dark eyes, soft, big, shadowed eyes with both the question and the answer in them."
The Sleeper Caper, Richard S. Prather
Before you sneer at "Mexican eyes," think about the words that went before: "what I thought of simply as." Sure, Prather has his protagonist, Shell Scott, engage in what some might call ethnic stereotyping and objectification of women today, but by God, he's redeemed by his awareness of what he's doing and by Scott's enjoyment of this Elena's beauty. And who could resist the melodramatic appeal of a pair of eyes that contain not just answers but also questions? Damned efficient, I'd say.
"You never can tell what a big, tough Polish boy will do when he finds a nude blonde in his bathroom."Goodnight!
To Kiss, Or Kill, Day Keene
© Peter Rozovsky 2012