I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
I just finished Soji Shimada's introduction (he's the author of The Tokyo Zodiac Murders), which includes a little of the history of Japanese puzzle mysteries.
I'm now on the first page of the actual mystery, and I already have to laugh at myself a little. Alice Arisugawa, who is a man, has written a character with his pen name into the book. Alice the character is also male, and that Alice is currently talking to a character named Maria (female). They're both Japanese.
"So how did two people bearing such exotic names come to meet in this age-old city?"
At first my brain went "Exotic?" and then I remembered that, yes, in Japan "Alice" and "Maria" would be considered exotic names.