Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Shinobi Mystery #2
Genre: Historical / Mystery
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 Portuguese 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.
Susan Spann's Blade of the Samurai is a complex mystery that will transport readers to a thrilling and unforgettable adventure in sixteenth-century Japan.
My Two Bits
When Hiro’s best friend, Kazu is accused of murdering his supervisor, Hiro is plagued by doubts and fears. Though this character was hard for me to connect with, his fears surrounding his friend were strong and you knew this would be a betrayal that would penetrate deep.
This book is a regular Agatha Christie, but set in Japan. I really liked the detail that went into the historical accuracy of the book. Father Mateo was probably my favourite for his lively personality and subtle intelligence that often takes Hiro off guard.
I hadn't realized this was a sequel when I picked it up to read for TLC Book Tours. But, the fact that it's a second book didn't harm the story at all. Instead it had me curious about Claws of the Cat!
About the Author:
CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013)
a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month
BLADE OF THE SAMURAI (Minotaur Books, July 15, 2014)
FLASK OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER (Minotaur Books, Scheduled for July 2015)
Where to Find: Webpage | Twitter @susanspann | Goodreads