The Ninja's Daughter
Autumn, 1565: When an actor’s daughter is murdered on the banks of Kyoto’s Kamo River, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo are the victim’s only hope for justice.
As political tensions rise in the wake of the shogun’s recent death, and rival warlords threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace–but Hiro has a personal connection to the girl, and must avenge her. The secret investigation leads Hiro and Father Mateo deep into the exclusive world of Kyoto’s theater guilds, where they quickly learn that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. With only a mysterious golden coin to guide them, the investigators uncover a forbidden love affair, a missing mask, and a dangerous link to corruption within the Kyoto police department that leaves Hiro and Father Mateo running for their lives.
“In The Ninja’s Daughter, Susan Spann’s poetic voice brilliantly captures the societal disparities, political intrigues, and martial conflicts of sixteenth-century Japan through the persevering efforts of ninja detective Hiro Hattori to solve a murder authorities consider of no consequence.” -JEFFREY SIGER, International Bestselling Author
This was the perfect story to satisfy my mystery needs. Once in awhile I like to switch up genre’s and I find that it keeps me refreshed. Just like this story did. It was refreshing and satisfying. I was aware when reading this that it was the fourth book in the Hiro Hattori series. Jumping in mid series may not be a good idea, but somehow it did not deter me. Although the main characters, Hiro and Matteo were introduced a few books ago, I found that I quickly became acquainted with them. Their personalities were well written and I didn’t need to read the previous books to understand the story. There is a sub plot going on in the background in conjunction with the current mystery unfolding, but the way it is described does not leave the reader wanting.
I loved the odd match up between the honor bound ninja and the Priest Matteo. Their banter was witty and amusing and one could tell that their relationship is that of respect and brotherly friendship. The fast paced storytelling kept me on my toes as Hiro and Matteo went through their interrogation of suspects and the citizens of Kyoto. I enjoyed going through my own deductions just as Hiro was going through his. Although, I did have my suspicions of who the killer was, I liked being thrown off the scent a few times.
The author does a great job in descriptions and everything was well researched. I could totally backtrack and read the previous stories. The current murder mystery does resolve in the end, but of course Hiro and Matteo’s story is far from over. So it does leave the reader hanging on that aspect.
There is a cat in this story, named Gato who I couldn’t help but love. It reminded me so much of my own cat, personality wise. Gato is probably my favorite character.
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Susan Spann is the author of three previous novels in the Shinobi Mystery series: Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, and Flask of the Drunken Master. She has a degree in Asian Studies and a lifelong love of Japanese history and culture. . When not writing, she works as a transactional attorney focusing on publishing and business law, and raises seahorses and rare corals in her marine aquarium.
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