Mystery Suspense

The Fine Art of Invisible Detection by Robert Goddard Review

A superbly plotted mystery-thriller that takes you from Japan to England to Iceland.


Umiko Wada is an unassuming middle-aged woman, and as such, visually unobtrusive (meaning, she’s often overlooked). But in Wada’s line of work (as assistant to private detective Kazuto Kodaka), being invisible is a plus. Wada is also logical, efficient, and above all fiercely determined and has about as much quit as a Marvel hero, that is to say, zero. When Kodaka dies in a suspicious hit and run (almost certainly an organized hit), Wada decides to carry out her last assignment regardless: acquiring information in London by posing as one of their clients.

However, when Wada arrives in London, the man she’s supposed to meet has vanished, sending her on a search for information (let’s remember, she’s got no quit) that quickly turns dangerous as someone doesn’t want her looking. And Wada isn’t the only one looking for the missing man who seems to be at the center of something… big. Running parallel to Wada’s investigation plot-line is our second main character’s search for his father. Nick Miller never got the chance to meet his dad, and after having been presumed dead, Nick’s father now looks to be very much alive.

Superbly plotted, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection delivers page-turning intrigue from start to finish as clues and puzzle pieces are spun into a complex web of mystery. Throughout the story, calm, level-headed, and outwardly unremarkable Wada feels like a breath of fresh air in the world of thrillers that is so often heroed by white men. With her dry sense of humor, Wada addresses ageism, misogyny, and racism head-on and shows convincingly that neither brashness nor testosterone are needed to solve crime. Absorbing and exhilarating with twist after twist, The Fine Art of Invisible Detection delivers on mystery, thrills, and entertainment.


Book: The Fine Art of Invisible Detection 
Published: Bantam Press
Pages: 371
Publication Date: March 18th, 2021
Stars: 4.5/5

Penguin Random House kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.


For more about great new books and inspiring authors, read The Penguin Post, a magazine from Penguin Random House South Africa.

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