Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann


Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Priest Father Mateo are back for book 6 in the Shinobi series (this is my 3rd introduction to them). Carrying a message up Mount Koya, the two stop at a temple as the weather turns bad, seeking refuge. In this temple are a group of Buddhists that live there, as well a father and his boy also seeking refuge from the storm while they wait to spread ashes. Hattori knows the Buddhist responsible for the protection of the temple and asks him, on break of the weather, to carry a message outside the temple for him. As Hattori and Mateo go to sleep, they are woken in the middle of the night to find that this Buddhist is dead. Hattori suspects someone know that he was a messenger and killed him for it. But then a few hours later, there's another death. Who is killing these monks?

Hattori and Mateo offer to help solve the crime and start interviewing all of the suspects. In the previous books I've read, what I liked most about this series was the history of Japan it provides in the 1500s, how Hattori needs to teach Mateo the culture of Japan since he is an outsider, and the interactions between the two men. This book had the first. A temple in the mountains and descriptions of the different Buddhas and their meanings. However it lacked a bit in the other two categories. There were some concerns mentioned from Hattori on what he thought Mateo might say. Maybe Mateo is learned enough from Hattori on how to behave properly and this isn't needed as much anymore? It was always a fun part of previous books though, which also follows in to the last category of the banter between the two. Because of this, I feel like it would be difficult to pick up the series with this book. Overall, still a good book but my least favourite of the three in this series I've read.


About the Author
Susan Spann began reading precociously and voraciously from her preschool days in Santa Monica, California, and as a child 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).

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.
Find her on Twitter, Facebook and at her website.

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