Case Closed Volume Three is a manga by Gosho Aoyama, and it was published in North America by Viz Media in 2004. The series is rated “T+” for older teens; from what I’ve read of Case Closed so far, I would agree with this rating.
Teen detective Jimmy Kudo was investigating a crime when he was discovered by two members of a crime organization. He was hit on the head, made to take an experimental poison and left for dead. However, instead of killing him, the poison shrunk Jimmy back down to a first grader. He takes on the name of Conan Edogawa and moves in with his friend Rachel Moore and her bumbling private investigator father, Richard. Conan hopes to find clues to the crime organization’s whereabouts and find the antidote to the poison. While his search has proved unsuccessful so far, Conan ends up helping Richard solve tough crimes.
There are two mysteries that appear in this volume of Case Closed, and both of them were adapted into episodes for the television anime series. Unfortunately for Conan, neither case brings him any closer to finding the crime organization and returning to his regular size.
The first mystery finds Conan, Rachel and Richard on board a charter ship after they missed the ferry they were supposed to catch. The charter ship has been rented by a wealthy family, who are returning home after a wedding. During the trip, several family members talk about how much they want the family’s wealth after the current head of the family dies. The butler discovers that the head of the family murdered in his quarters, and Richard and Conan take on the case to find the murderer.
For this mystery, Aoyama included some clues and “red herrings” to try to convince the reader that two particular people were suspects. In a lot of respects, I have to admit that I’m not sure how effective this was, since I saw the two-part anime episode before reading this volume of Case Closed. However, since the anime episodes followed the manga story rather faithfully, I can think about my reaction when I originally saw the anime episodes. From my recollection, I didn’t fall for these clues for one of the potential suspects, but I thought the other suspect could have been a possibility. While this mystery is one of the many murder cases to appear in the series, I think that this was a well-done murder mystery. I especially felt bad for the character of Natsue, the bride in this story.
The second story in Volume Three sees a surgeon coming to Richard Moore because he has been receiving money and toys every month for two years, and has no idea who is sending the items or why they are being sent. Richard takes on the case, and Rachel and Conan tag along. Through some investigation and deduction, Conan figures it out – and also realizes that someone close to the surgeon could be in danger. It becomes a race against time to find the culprit and save the other person.
This is another story that I saw as an anime episode first, and my reaction to reading this story was the same reaction I had when I watched the anime episode. On the one hand, the culprit comes across as twisted for what they plan to do. On the other hand, by the time I finished with the confrontation with the suspect and saw how they reacted, I came to feel a little sorry for them. Not only was this mystery a well-written story, it’s also a refreshing change of pace from the murder mysteries that are prevalent in the Case Closed series.
If you’re a fan of Case Closed, or are a fan of mystery stories in general, then I think you will enjoy Case Closed Volume Three.