Maybe it isn’t only the victims, Rika thought. Maybe I, also, have been dead for a long time. And not just me, either, but Makoto, and Reiko, and Ryosuke, and Shinoi, and my mother. The only truly living person is this woman right in front of me. Which is why, as furious as everyone is with her, they can’t take their eyes off her. They have to keep on watching her across the dividing line between life and death, as she burns through the rest of her life, living out her desires.

Page 301

In a nutshell


Manako Kaji, a gourmet cook has been convicted for the serial murders of wealthy businessmen, she is said to have seduced with her cooking. Her case captivates the nation but Kaji, behind bars, refuses to speak to any one. Until Rika, a journalist with long hours and an inability to cook more than ramen, sends Kaji a letter asking for a recipe. Rika starts visiting Kaji and making the food Kaji tells her about, all while desperately trying to uncover the truth behind the enigma that has captivated a nation.

Book Club Notes


Inspired by the real life case of the ‘Konkatsu Killer’, Butter is a novel, as rich as its title and unlike anything I have ever read. With underlying themes of gender norms, fatphobia and violence, it is at times uncomfortable but never boring. It provides fascinating insight into Japanese cultural norms as well as the human desire for connection and validation. More than food for thought, it left me wanting to make the food mentioned within – namely the rice dish served with butter and soy sauce.

Read If


You’re a foodie at heart, want a novel that will make you think and one that will keep you on your toes.

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Storyline – 9 /10
Writing – 9/10
Character Development – 9/10
Plot Twist – 8/10
Shareability – 9/10
9.0Overall Score

The Nitty Gritty


Published by: Haper Collins, distributed by Jonathon Ball 

Genre: Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Psychological,

ISBN: 978-0-00-851168-5

Pages: 542

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A note on our book ratings

Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?

Plot Twist: Were you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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