The Classics Club goes on a trip to a hot spring inn run by the young daughters of a family friend of Ibara’s. Oreki has an early night due to the strains of travelling and being in the spring too long, but in the morning, Mayaka reports she saw a hanging shadow in a room across from hers. Chitanda also saw it and want Oreki to investigate. After piecing together all of the events of the night before and observing the behavior of their hosts, he concludes it was only a yukata hanging out to dry.
The Classics Club has an away game, and like so many old inns, the one they stay at has a ghost story attached to it, regarding the hanging suicide of an embezzzler. When the girls insist they saw something unusual in the night, it’s up to Sherlock Oreki to solve the case. What amazed us, first of all, was that a fourth grader and sixth grader could run a frikkin’ inn all by themselves, even if only for four teenage guests. Not a whole lot of American inns like that. What also caught our eye was, well…everything; the calm, picturesque setting was particularly pretty.
As for the mystery; naturally there was a perfectly logical and un-supernatural explanation for what Mayaka and Chitanda saw, and when they beg him to find it, he considers it a hassle but does his duty, making full use of his detective skills. Once again, nifty details abound, from the older sister writing her name on everything that’s hers, to the ladybugs landing on people then taking off. Oreki also proves a most astute observer of behavior, which he uses to connect all the myriad dots rattling around in his head to form a picture of what happens that fits the facts. The kid’s on a roll.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)