Home ARCs Review & #Giveaway: Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann

Review & #Giveaway: Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

I’m always excited to read a new installment of the Shinobi Series. Think Hercule Poirot and Colonel Hastings, but instead you have Hiro and Father Mateo. Read below for my review and enter to win a print copy of Trial on Mount Koya.



I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Trial on Mount Koya

Review & #Giveaway: Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann
by Susan Spann
Series: Shinobi Mystery #6
Also in this series: The Ninja's Daughter, Betrayal at Iga
Published by Seventh Street Books
on July 3rd, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 256
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 5 Stars



November, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo travel to a Buddhist temple at the summit of Mount Koya, carrying a secret message for an Iga spy posing as a priest on the sacred mountain. When a snowstorm strikes the peak, a killer begins murdering the temple's priests and posing them as Buddhist judges of the afterlife--the Kings of Hell. Hiro and Father Mateo must unravel the mystery before the remaining priests--including Father Mateo--become unwilling members of the killer's grisly council of the dead.

ARC Samurai Series

Hiro and Father Mateo (and the all important cat Gato) find themselves at a Buddhist temple with a message from Hattori Hanzo for a spy posing as a priest. Of course wherever these two go murder seems to follow them.


A snowstorm prevents Hiro and Mateo from leaving and they find themselves embroiled in the schemes of a mysterious killer, when victim after victim start piling up. I loved the psychological mystery of this story. The killer posing the bodies as Buddhist judges of the afterlife was really creepy.


Hiro was the one who truly surprised me though. His experiences from the previous book is still haunting him and his personality kind of takes a turn for the better. Usually so stoic and calm, Hiro’s emotions breach his internal walls. I loved seeing his character grow and evolve. It really was a sweet reveal to find out about his true feelings about things.


The mystery had  me guessing throughout the book and my lists of suspects kept flip flopping around. It was fun to finally get to the bottom of the mystery and the ending was really satisfying. I can’t wait for more from this author and series.


About Susan Spann

susan spann author pic

Susan Spann is the author of the Hiro Hattori Novels (Shinobi Mysteries) featuring master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Her first novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013) was a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month and a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel.

Susan's fifth Hiro Hattori Novel, BETRAYAL AT IGA (Seventh Street Books, July 2017), is available now in trade paperback and ebook formats. The sixth installment, TRIAL ON MOUNT KOYA (Seventh Street Books), is available for pre-order and will release in July 2018 .

When not writing or practicing law, Susan enjoys traditional archery, martial arts, hiking, and photography. She currently lives outside Sacramento, but plans to move to Japan in early 2018 to research, write, and climb the hyakumeizan (Hundred Famous Mountains), a journey she will chronicle on her blog and social media, as well as her upcoming nonfiction work, 100 SUMMITS (Prometheus Books, 2020).

Enter to win a print copy of Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann.

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The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. (Be sure to enter using an email address that you regularly check. Also check spam folders.)


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Kathy DCassandra DKimberly @ Caffeinated ReviewerCrystal @ Lost in StorylandAleen @ Lampshade Reader Recent comment authors

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Kathy D
Kathy D

historical back ground is my thing

Cassandra D
Cassandra D

I like historical settings in mystery novels.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

This is new to me and something I would have dismissed with the cover, but you have me curious to try the series.

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

I love historical settings with any genre. I also love asian settings. This sounds like a great series 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I haven’t heard of this series before but it does sound like something I would like. I love mysteries that keep me guessing.


A snowstorm and murders in a Buddhist temple? Sounds pretty good to me! Plus a great ending always helps.

Mary Kirkland

That sounds interesting for sure.


oh man this has some really creepy parts o.o psychological thrillers can be so much fun, great review

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

Such a unique time period and setting! Definitely adds something extra. So glad you enjoyed this one!


I do like historical settings in books in general, and the more unusual, the better. Thanks!

Danielle Hammelef
Danielle Hammelef

I love historical settings in mysteries. Mysteries are my favorite genre.

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