Most volumes in this series are filled with short stories, each entitled with a “D” word or phrase, working more like a detective television series than one extended story arc. In this volume, our first encounter with Count D is Dream, where a young woman purchases a glorious bird from D only to regret its loneliness in her elegant arboretum. Determined to find him a mate, she pesters D to find her a female of the species, only to learn too late that this species mating habits are a tad more vicious than she expected. Within this first story the reader is treated to the elements that make Pet Shop of Horrors so addictive–the elaborate beauty and costumes of the “pets” and the anticipation of the twist at each tales end. Detective Orcot arrives at the shop in Despair, trailing clues when a young actor, fading in popularity, is discovered dead in his own home with only a rare lizard, also dead, by his side. D spins a fine tale for the Detective, but can it be true? In Daughter, a pair of grief-stricken parents seek a pet to comfort themselves after a loss, but when D introduces them to a pet rabbit who looks eerily like their dead daughter, they can’t resist. When they break the rules in caring for her, though, things go horribly awry. In the final installment, Dreizhen, an orphaned girl, blinded in the fight and fire that led to her parents’ murders, finds a most loyal bodyguard at D’s shop. Can he help her regain her sight in time to recognize who is responsible for her parents’ murders?
Pet Shop of Horrors, vol. 1
By Matsuri Akino