If you’re looking for a manga series with a really interesting “hook,” then I can recommend about 12 of them just off the top of my head! But, today, we’re going to talk about one in particular: Usotoki Rhetoric. This historical mystery series features a young woman who has been shunned from her village because of an uncanny ability: she can hear lies.

What I mean by that, is that she can discern if the person is lying. It’s not from their tone or because they flared their nostrils or looked off to the left… There’s a certainly metallic quality in the sound that she can hear. So, whether it’s a little white lie, like I’m fine when you’re having a bad day or a real corker like I didn’t kill him!, Kanoko Urabe can tell.

An unfortunate habit of calling people out in their lies has made Kanoko more than a few enemies back home, so she moves to the city. Unemployed, homeless, and starving, she’s given the chance at a better life when she meets Souma Iwai, a poor, but gifted detective whose astute powers of observation perfectly mesh with Kanoko’s abilities. While both are skilled on their own, together, they could become the greatest detective duo in Japan.

This series has just started its English translations, so there are only a couple of volumes in the library’s collection so far. But, if you’re interested in reading a funny, but dramatic series starring a conniving detective and his innocently honest assistant, then this just might be the series for you!

If you’re reading along with our WPPL Reading Challenge, this series could be used for a couple of the prompts:

  • A book with a two-word title
  • A character who is hungry, loves to eat, or is trying not to get eaten
  • A book about a character who is poor, homeless, or living in poverty
  • A book published in 2023

Happy reading!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.