Hi, everyone! Today I'm super excited to be part of the TLC blog tour for Susan Spann's latest Shinobi mystery, The Ninja's Daughter. As part of the tour, I am giving away a copy of the very first Shinobi mystery, Claws of the Cat, so be sure to read through to the end to enter.
Hiro and Father Mateo have made a name for themselves as clever and reliable investigators - more so than the local authorities for sure! So when a local merchant's nephew awakens next to a dead body, certain he'll be held responsible but claiming no memory of the crime, it's Hiro and Father Mateo he runs to for help. As it turns out, the police have no interest in pursuing a case; the victim is a local actor's daughter and her class precludes any investigation or charges. In spite of - or rather because of - this loophole, Father Mateo is more determined than ever to unmask the killer. And Hiro himself is obligated once it's discovered exactly who the victim's father is.
Unfortunately for the two, the political climate of Kyoto has become increasingly strained. The yoriki is adamantly against their involvement in the investigation and the protection the two had previously enjoyed as friends of the emperor seems to hold less weight than before.
Susan Spann's Shinobi series is super fun and quite unique - to the best of my knowledge, hers is the only series focused on this particular time period in Japanese history. And it's a time that, as Susan points out in interviews, lends itself well to a mystery/suspense series because the political tension was so high.
Those politics make it especially difficult for Hiro and Father Mateo to investigate in The Ninja's Daughter. And while it would be easy to simply forgo any involvement in the death of an actor's daughter, especially when the boy who approaches them isn't going to be charged, Father Mateo is driven by a motivation Hiro actually isn't quite clear on. Hiro, however, is driven by obligation.
In addition to the politics and hierarchy of sixteenth century Japanese society, each installment of the series does involve a different aspect of Japanese culture. In book four, it's the theater community and Nō that get center stage, so to speak. Admittedly this is a period of history that I know nothing about, so Spann's painstaking research and attention to detail definitely make this series a real stand out. I love getting a glimpse into a society and history that are completely outside my own knowledge base. It's refreshing and fascinating!
And yes, while this is the fourth book in the series and there are some aspects of Hiro's and Father Mateo's relationship that you'll miss out on by not having read the prior installments, like its predecessor's The Ninja's Daughter does stand alone rather well. It also avoids spoilers from the previous books, making it easy to start here and go back to the beginning.
Speaking of the beginning, today I am offering up a chance to win the very first Shinobi mystery, Claws of the Cat. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, August 15. US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To see more stops be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Susan Spann and her work you can visit her website here. You can also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Seventh Street Books