Friday, August 1, 2014

Blade of the Sumarai ~ Susan Spann




Hashtags: #BladeoftheSamuraiBlogTour #HFVBTBlogTour #HistNov #HistFic #HistoricalMystery
Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @SusanSpann @MinotaurBooks
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Minotaur Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Series: Shinobi Mystery
Genre: Historical Mystery
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READ AN EXCERPT.
June, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori receives a pre-dawn visit from Kazu, a fellow shinobi working undercover at the shogunate. Hours before, the Shogun’s cousin, Saburo, was stabbed to death in the Shogun’s palace. The murder weapon: Kazu’s personal dagger. Kazu says he’s innocent, and begs for Hiro’s help, but his story gives Hiro reason to doubt the young shinobi’s claims.
When the Shogun summons Hiro and Father Mateo, the Jesuit priest under Hiro’s protection, to find the killer, Hiro finds himself forced to choose between friendship and personal honor.
The investigation reveals a plot to assassinate the Shogun and overthrow the ruling Ashikaga clan. With Lord Oda’s enemy forces approaching Kyoto, and the murderer poised to strike again, Hiro must use his assassin’s skills to reveal the killer’s identity and protect the Shogun at any cost. Kazu, now trapped in the city, still refuses to explain his whereabouts at the time of the murder. But a suspicious shogunate maid, Saburo’s wife, and the Shogun’s stable master also had reasons to want Saburo dead. With the Shogun demanding the murderer’s head before Lord Oda reaches the city, Hiro and Father Mateo must produce the killer in time … or die in his place.
Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in 16th century Japan.
Book One of the Shinobi Mysteries series, Claws of the Cat, was released in 2013.

Praise for Blast of the Samurai

“The second Hiro Hattori mystery (after 2013’s Claws of the Cat) finds the sixteenth-century ninja—and unofficial investigator—presented with an interesting problem…A strong second entry in a very promising series.”—Booklist
“Hiro and Father Mateo’s second adventure (Claws of the Cat, 2013) combines enlightenment on 16th-century Japanese life with a sharp and well-integrated mystery.”—Kirkus Reveiws

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Susan Spann is an excellent writer and clearly knows this specific era in 16th century Japan. It is always up to me to remember the hereditary occupations of the characters, a trick when reading on my kindle where flipping to the author's fine glossary. 

This mystery like the prior one was a very fine read. You will meet many new characters but only a few survived the multilayered mysteries that swirled around 16th century Kyoto. Our heroes and other characters got little sleep as they traveled back and forth to and from the shogunate. The weather, a vicious Akita and the cat Gato are elements that contribute to a sinister plot to overthrow the shogun

A satisfying ending, after many deaths, violence and intrigue, showed the Shinobi Hiro as well as his colleague,Father Mateo safe and healthy. New ties to the two newer characters who survived the fray tells me of a new series as does the statement "A warlord was a warlord after all", which referred to the NEW shogun.

 I received this from Netgalley for a review which will be posted August 1 on the HFVB Tour.See you then!





About the Author

Susan Spann acquired her love of books and reading during her preschool days in Santa Monica, California. As a child she read everything from National Geographic to Agatha Christie. In high school, she once turned a short-story assignment into a full-length fantasy novel (which, fortunately, will never see the light of day).

A yearning to experience different cultures sent Susan to Tufts University in Boston, where she immersed herself in the history and culture of China and Japan. After earning an undergraduate degree in Asian Studies, Susan diverted to law school. She returned to California to practice law, where her continuing love of books has led her to specialize in intellectual property, business and publishing contracts.

Susan’s interest in Japanese history, martial arts, and mystery inspired her to write the Shinobi Mystery series featuring Hiro Hattori, a sixteenth-century ninja who brings murderers to justice with the help of Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest. When not writing or representing clients, Susan enjoys traditional archery, martial arts, horseback riding, online gaming, and raising seahorses and rare corals in her highly distracting marine aquarium. Susan lives in Sacramento with her husband, son, three cats, one bird, and a multitude of assorted aquatic creatures.

For more information please visit Susan Spann’s website and blog.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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