Yutaka Maya 麻耶雄嵩
Yutaka Maya (1969–) is not a prolific writer, but is noted for his ambitious experiments in the subgenre known as the honkaku ("orthodox") mystery, which focuses on tricks such as the locked room and on logical puzzle-solving. While at Kyoto University to study engineering, Maya joined the school's Mystery Club, breeding ground of many a leading whodunit author. The backing of club alumni Yukito Ayatsuji and Rintaro Norizuki—along with that of distinguished mystery writer Soji Shimada—paved the way for Maya to publish his first novel, Tsubasa aru yami: Merukatoru Ayu saigo no jiken (A Winged Darkness: Ayu Mercator's Last Case), while still a student in 1991. In 2011 Sekigan no shojo (The Girl with One Eye) won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award and the Honkaku Mystery Grand Prize. Starting with Ayu Mercator, the dapper but arrogant and acid-tongued sleuth of his debut work—who is never seen without a black tuxedo, top hat, and walking stick, even in summertime—Maya has over the years given life to several memorable detectives, each one full of individuality and punch.