Ahh, Case Closed and your odd array of cases. In this volume, we get the murder of a prominent magician, a family squabble over an inheritance that turned deadly, the start of an episode where Ran and Sonoko get snowed in at a ski lodge while a killer is on the loose.
They're all decent cases, but for my money the high point of this one is the second volume. Not only is the mystery pretty fascinating, but Conan's brought to the place by his mom and we spend a lot of time getting to know her. And I love her. She's caring and can sometimes be pragmatic, but is usually highly emotional and reactive in a fun way. She's remarkably cool about her son having been reverted to a little kid, and you can see where he gets his desire to help people from.
Cases in this book include the conclusion of the snowed-in case, then the Detective Boys get mixed up in the kidnapping of a famous musical duo, a businessman gets killed in a locked room and we start the case where an older man calls Mouri to ask him to find his childhood sweetheart, but (as you might have guessed) someone turns up dead before the case gets very far.
This one starts with my favorite case from the book, not because I find the case the most interesting in and of itself (that would be the one we get the first half of at the end) but because of the manner in which the solution is shared. It's not only a powerful character moment for Ran, but it also gives a really great insight into how Shinichi can so casually accuse otherwise decent people of terrible crimes and quite probably send them to prison.
This volume concludes the murder case at the home of a man who hired Mouri to find his childhood sweetheart, then the Detective Boys try to get to the bottom of several mysteries at their school after hours, Conan gets his first crack and the Kaitou Kid and at the end, Mouri, Ran and Conan visit a famous potter just in time for murder.
The first of these is my favorite of the cases in the book, both because I enjoyed the mystery best and because Heiji is involved and I enjoy the interplay between he and Conan. But probably the most significant is the introduction of Kaitou Kid in this universe. He and Conan are well matched for brains, meaning there's some doubt when they clash as to who may come out on top (or if somehow they both may).
In this volume, we find out who killed the potter's assistant, go on vacation with Mouri and Erii (With a little help from Ran), a hospital becomes a more deadly place for one person than the outside is, Mouri gets called to help solve a mystery that spans a whole house, then he gets tangled up in a murder while getting interviewed by an actor who's going to play a detective for his new role.
Mouri and Erii are a couple I absolutely love seeing. It's a bit of a rare thing, because it's very clear they care about one another, and are still attracted to one another and are very probably still in love with each other. But at the same time, there are very real reasons the two of them have a hard time living and being together. And it's interesting to me that while Conan figures out what happened in the near-murder incident, he doesn't even put much thought into another mystery, one that Mouri figures out pretty easily.
Another interesting one to me was the one where Mouri is hired by letter to solve a mystery in an odd house left to the writer by a relative. The misdirect and the ending are both really strong.
In this volume, we find out the truth of the murder at the actor's apartment, Ran encounters the girl she believes to be Shinichi's first love, an unusual transfer student shows up at Conan's school and a new lead comes up in Conan's search for the Black Organization.
We get a new character here who I love quite a lot - the cool, collected Ai. She joins the same class as the Detective Boys and there's just something... odd about her. I love the additional dynamic adding her to their little group gives the series.
In this volume we get the mystery of a writer whose latest book has some unusual things surrounding it, then a visit to Osaka, where we learn a bit more about Heiji, then the Detective Boys go to a soccer game that turns out to be far more dangerous than expected.
More Heiji is always welcome, and the series keeps adding new character I like, this time in the form of his childhood friend Kazuha. She is awesome. The series could use more of her. The relationship between she and Heiji is like Shinichi and Ran's in some ways, but in others is very different. :) And the story with the two of them in this book is actually really exciting and fun to read, and even a little bit nerve-wracking for some of the characters!