Case Closed 3 by Gosho Aoyama: B+

From the back cover:
Jimmy, Rachel and Richard take a vacation aboard a cruise ship, but little do they know that the patriarch of the wealthy Hatamoto family is about to be murdered. With the perpetrator still aboard, can you figure out whodunit before Conan does!?

I actually quite liked both cases in this volume, which is good, because as the first chapter started out I was feeling rather blah about it all and wondering whether it was time to give up the series.

The first case happens not aboard a cruise ship, as the back cover claims, but upon a charter boat hired by a wealthy family who has celebrated a wedding upon their private island. The family patriarch hates everyone but his granddaughter, and everyone but her hates him, so there are plenty of suspects for his sudden death. Conan, of course, puts it all together. What I liked about this case is that it didn’t involve a needlessly and ludicrously elaborate killing method. The victims are stabbed and, in one case, bludgeoned. The clues instead involved things like locked doors, missing murder weapons, et cetera. Perhaps that’s why this is also the first case where I actually had guessed the correct culprit!

The second case involves a surgeon who has received an old toy and a million yen each month going on two years. The best part of this case is that Rachel starts to realize just how much Conan is leading her father through important deductions. She confronts him a few times about his being Jimmy, but he manages to weasel out of it in the end by having Dr. Agasa call and use the voice modulator thingie to simulate Jimmy’s teenaged voice. Having read some volumes in the upper twenties, I know that Rachel still doesn’t know the truth, but I still really enjoyed her suspicions and how she isn’t fooled by some of the stupid things Conan tries to throw her off his trail.

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