狐罠 と 折れた竜骨

ミステリーは何かしら付加要素のあるものが面白い。例えばジェームズ・ホーガンの『星を継ぐもの』。5万年前の人間の遺骸が月面で発見された。このありえない発見を探求する過程で人類の起源や月の起源が解き明かされる。SFとしてもミステリーとしても、10番に入るくらい好きな作品だ。或いは飯嶋和一の『神無き月十一番目の夜』。1602年、常陸の国のある村の住人300人が忽然と消失した。何が起こったのかをドキュメンタリーさながらに再現する(これをミステリーと呼ぶには抵抗があるかもしれない)。更にダン・ブラウンの『ダ・ヴィンチ・コード』。この本の面白さはキリスト教にまつわる蘊蓄と記号学を生かした謎解きであり、映画では十分に表現できない。そしてウンベルト・エーコの『薔薇の名前』。説明は不要だと思う。

表題の二作は、数あるミステリーの中では群を抜くほど優れた作品ではないだろう。緻密なプロットで読者を圧倒する本でもない。だが妙に僕のツボに嵌り、それぞれ3,4回ずつは読んだ。今もまた読みたいと思っている。『狐罠』は古美術商の話である。贋作を掴まされた意趣返しに贋作を仕掛けるという粗筋なのだが、古美術や贋作に纏わる蘊蓄が面白く、読む手が止まらないといった類の本である。読んでは何処かにやってしまうので、これまで3回くらい再購入した。『折れた竜骨』は生粋のミステリーファン向けではない。詳細はここでは控えるが、これはファンタジーファン向けの小説だ。そして僕はこういう話が好きなのだと再確認した。

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