Akimitsu Takagi wrote this, his first of many novels, just two years after Japan surrendered in 1945. The book gives us a first hand look at what it was like to live in occupied Japan. For that alone the book is a jewel.
The book also has an excellent English translation by Deborah Boehm, with none of the awkward wording often seen in translations.
Most importantly, this is a good mystery. To quote the Amazon review: Kinue Nomura survived World War II only to be murdered in Tokyo, her severed limbs discovered in a room locked from the inside. Gone is the part of her that bore one of the most beautiful full-body tattoos ever rendered.
I give it a 4+ rating. I hope more of his work is available in English.