Anyway, moving on to the case itself. I was a little worried (that was before I was reminded that the cases more or less stand alone) since it has been so long since I read the first Opera case, and not even sure if I'd read the second one. But of course, my fear was almost for nothing. Yeah, a few characters from past cases are mentioned, but that doesn't really impact the present case (meaning the murder would still be carried out in the same way regardless). Everything occurs at a right pace, I think. And the deductions (and the identity of the murderer) really do make sense. A reader could almost follow along, if they wanted to and really tried to work it out, since clues and maps were given. (I did kind of guess who the murderer was, but it was just from something Kindaichi said very early on. And I later dismissed the idea because I didn't have any proof.) And the motives. I don't condone murders in any case, but I guess I almost understand why this particular kind of circumstance would drive someone sane to kill another person. (I think some of the motives in Conan just plain suck.)
One thing I don't like in this case, though, is that Kindaichi points out the murderer early on. I have hoped the readers would have to continue to guess who it was for a while longer. If nothing else, I wanted to be spared the murderer's attempts to cover up. They got so desperate to point I was embarrassed for them. (Conan has this kind of desperate attempt from the murderer/culprit, too, but usually not long and too dragged out to the point where I just want to skip ahead to the part where they were confessing their motives.)
One other thing (and it's not really limited to this case), the murders are often more gruesome than the ones in Conan. I really did get scared of the first murder, where the victim is killed in front of everyone. (Not just a lifeless body suddenly appearing; it is the actual murder taking place live.) Even more creepy, Kindaichi sensed something bad was about to happen, but he didn't know what.
I suppose I'll be looking at the anime (it does exist, after all) and the drama next (especially the episodes having to do with this opera house; I guess I've become somewhat attached to it).
Kindaichi Case Files volumes are available in the US, although I'm not sure how easy it would be to obtain any volume because I don't recall having ever seen one sitting there in a local bookstore (have seen Case Closed (Conan) volumes, though). IMHO, the covers of the US editions are rather pretty, too. Anyway, Kindaichi is well worth the time to read and I don't know anyone who is disappointed with this series yet (sure, can't please everyone, but a mystery (and manga/anime) fan would most likely enjoy it).