Case Closed 28
In this volume we get the conclusion of a terrifying mushroom-hunting trip, Mouri tries to help a beautiful woman hunt down an old photo, Conan and Heiji take a trip to mysterious Mermaid Island, which holds a deadly secret, and we get the first part of a case involving a string of young women being attacked.
The mushroom hunting story is cute in that it takes the focus off Conan somewhat, splitting the Detective Boys and forcing Ai and Mitsuhiko to work on their own to leave a code for Conan to find and decipher. The photo hunting story is also interesting in that it introduces us to another new character who's been mentioned but has yet to appear in the story. But the mystery wasn't that solid to me.
The star of this volume for me was Mermaid Island, a small island which allegedly houses a woman who ate the flesh of a mermaid and now has eternal life. When Conan, Heiji and their families/friends arrive, they find a festival just starting up in which arrows with strands of the old woman's hair tied on which are said to grant immortality as well. With something that precious on the line, when murders start turning up, it's clear what's happening, right? Well... maybe.
Part of the fun is that Kazuha wins one of the arrows, and her part in the story gets very tense. She's one of my favorite characters in a series full of characters I love, and her interactions with both Ran and Heiji are great. More her please :)
The final story has some interesting bits, but they don't really show up until the next volume.
Case Closed 29
In this volume, we finish the tale of serial assaults on young women turning deadly, Agasa and the kids are heading on a ski trip when their bus gets hijacked, a case of emptying out a house nearly turns into a missing dog case and the opening of a restaurant headlined by sports stars ends in heartbreak.
The story of the young women getting attacked is a little sad, but also a little weird in that I'm not sure how the criminal intended to get their message across by the manner in which they were going about things. But it's worth it because Inspector Megure gets a little bit of fleshing out. It's remarkable, but we're almost 30 books in and we haven't really gotten much on him other than what kind of officer he is (an awesome one).
The bus one sees the return of a couple characters we've seen in passing - Doctor Araide and Jodie, one of Ran and Sonoko's teachers. They prove to be a wild card as the attackers threaten to kill everyone on the bus unless their fellow criminal is released from jail.
The case of the dogs is a little too convoluted and a little too filler-y (it does have a narrative part to play as one character deals with the aftermath of the last case, but it doesn't have to be THIS Case that helps them) so I didn't really enjoy it, but it's okay.
And this last case is nice because it's a bit of a callback. This case has Conan facing the same problem that Ran had to many, many books ago, and that Mouri actually has as well. This time we get to see him putting his theory into practice. But it's a little sad.