Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann

It's my favorite time of year, y'all: Susan Spann's latest book birthday!!!

Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for the latest installment in the Hiro Hattori series, Trial on Mount Koya. 

In the aftermath of the events at Iga, Hiro has been tasked with traveling to Myo-in, a Buddhist temple at the top of Mount Kōya. With Father Mateo (and Gato) by his side, Hiro is to share orders to a fellow shinobi stationed at the temple. This man is to travel the road between Kyoto and Edo to warn the other Iga agents about the attack on Iga. But before the man can get started on his mission, he is brutally murdered within the temple's walls. With a storm raging and just ten fellow priests and four travelers, including Hiro and Father Mateo, the suspect pool is small. Hiro and Father Mateo once again agree to help unravel the mystery, but as the storm rages on it becomes clear the killer isn't finished. Can they unmask the murderer before the killer is the only one left standing?

Trial on Mount Koya is Spann's homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and I have been dying to share it with you ever since I heard that was the concept behind this latest book.

Setting is such a key component in this series and in this book in particular. In the style of Agatha Christie, this is a close and closed off setting, which ratchets up the suspense a hundred fold. The storm has kept anyone from coming and going and the killer is clearly hiding amongst the characters. And of course those characters and the plot are the other driving forces!

Hiro and Father Mateo are known quantities. We've met them and traveled alongside them for six books now (though I should note that you can easily jump in with any installment), and they've now investigated a number of other murders, so we know that they're not going to be fooled by the killer. And yet, this killer is quite cunning and brutal to boot - each new victim is posed to represent the judges of the afterlife.

I really do love each new book in this series. And I have to say that the real pleasure in them is a direct result of the fact that Spann is clearly so passionate about her subject. As I write this, she is in Japan in the midst of her latest project: conquering each of the 100 summits and chronicling her climbs along the way. In fact, if you visit her blog you'll see that she's celebrating release day on Mount Kōya itself, revisiting the location that inspired this story.

To see more stops on the tour 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 like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

One of these days I'm going to read all the books in this series straight through - I can't believe I haven't done it already!

Thanks for being on the tour!