Blade of the Samurai: A Shinobi Mystery (Shinobi Mysteries) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$19.49
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.99
  • Save: $7.50 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Blade of the Samurai: A S... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Blade of the Samurai: A Shinobi Mystery (Shinobi Mysteries) Hardcover – July 15, 2014


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$19.49
$11.61 $7.59



Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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 fellow ninja, Kazu, believes he’s about to be accused of killing the shogun’s cousin, but Hiro finds it difficult to prove the man’s innocence when Kazu won’t answer the simplest of questions, such as where he was when the victim was murdered. Hiro and Father Mateo, the visiting Jesuit priest who fills the role of sidekick (the series’ premise being Hiro is Mateo’s appointed ninja protector, which makes an excellent cover for Hiro to investigate crimes), work their way through a long list of suspects to find the real killer before Kazu’s fate is sealed. There are already a couple of good mystery series set in feudal-era Japan, one at the beginning of the historical period and the other at the end; this one’s set in between, meaning the been-there-done-that factor is reduced to background noise. A strong second entry in a very promising series. --David Pitt

Review

“An outstanding historical mystery set in Japan during the shogunate…What adds to the enjoyment of the history is a most elegant mystery that grows out of the politics of the time… All this is told in stripped down prose as we edge carefully through the thickets of confusion and emerge on to the plain of revelation as the killer is unmasked and uncertainty over the threat to the shogun is resolved. “—San Francisco Book Review

“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

“After her exciting historical mystery debut, Claws of the Cat, Spann proves she has the touch in her sophomore entry. The deceptively simple prose educates readers about 16th-century Japan, while the well-plotted story moves at ninja speed. The endearing characters fight to defend honor and truth, giving this strong YA appeal.”—Library Journal

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Spectrum by Alan Jacobson
FBI profiler Karen Vail's current case takes readers back to the beginning, with flashbacks to her rookie days as an NYPD patrol officer. "Spectrum" is a great way for new readers of the series to jump into the action. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Shinobi Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250027055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250027054
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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).

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. The first novel, Claws of the Cat, releases July 16, 2013.

When not writing or representing clients, Susan enjoys traditional archery, martial arts, horseback riding, online gaming, and raising seahorses and rare corals in her marine aquarium. She still consumes books - almost as avidly spicy Thai dinners. Susan lives outside Sacramento with her husband, son, three cats, one bird, and a multitude of assorted aquatic creatures.

She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Association and is represented by literary agent Sandra Bond of Bond Literary Agency.

You can find her at her website (http://www.susanspann.com), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SusanSpannAuthor) and also on Twitter (@SusanSpann). Please stop by and say hello!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
14
4 star
5
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 20 customer reviews
Ms. Spann does feudal Japan right.
Anthony
I highly recommend this to historical mystery fans especially those that have enjoyed the Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland.
Karen Siddall
Ms. Spann does a good job of providing the context, and in case you forget, there is a glossary.
Kim Rendfeld

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janet B Taylor on July 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The second installment of Ms Spann's SHINOBI MYSTERY SERIES gives us a lovely, intricate glimpse into the enigmatic world of sixteenth-century Japanese politics. At a time in which honor means more than life, Shinobi (Ninja) Protector, HIRO HATTORI and his sidekick, the Jesuit priest Father Matteo, are once again thrust into a murder investigation, this time for even higher stakes.

Ms. Spann's spare, elegant prose flows off the page. Her descriptions of Kyoto and the Shogunate in the fifteen hundreds, are so believable, you'll swear you can smell the lotus blossoms. The best part about BLADE is the deepening friendship between the ninja, and his charge, Father Matteo, that grows ever stronger with each installment.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I kind of jumped at the chance to read and review "Blade of the Samurai". I grew up with a crush on Richard Chamberlain in the mini-series of James Clavell's "Shogun" on tv. I even remember a half-dozen or so words in Japanese from watching the drama.

With all the character names and Japanese terms in the book, it could have been easy to get somewhat lost, but Ms. Spann does a good job of making it clear what the terms mean so her readers can become involved with the story itself.

Some might find it harsh that, after being 'hired' (in a sense) to find a murderer, if Hiro and Father Mateo cannot solve the murder in a couple of days, they will be killed in his (or her) place and face will be saved. Of course, when you live in a military society where might makes right (not a judgment-just a statement), and you never know what another family will do to oust those in power to advance their own status...there is little or no room for error.

There are many twists, turns and intricacies in the plot of "Blade of the Samurai". It's like being presented with a complex piece of origami and trying to figure out how to make it yourself by reverse engineering. Each new fold uncovers a hidden gem, a piece of the larger puzzle. Each time I thought, "Aha, that is the murderer," some new piece of evidence would pop up. It made me want to keep reading until I found out who actually committed the crime.

"Blade of the Samurai" is a well-researched novel that shows despite a 500 year distance, people are people. The characters have hopes, dreams, aspirations, jealousies, obstacles much like we do today.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of "Blade of the Samurai" from the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Schafer on July 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Susan Spann has done it again with the second book in her Shinobi Mystery series. While I very much enjoyed Claws of the Cat, Blade is even better. Hiro and Father Mateo have grown as characters--not modern day men masquerading as ancient Japanese, as happens in so many historical books--but genuine, well rounded characters moving through a flawlessly recreated medieval Japanese world. Some new and colorful characters show up, as well-- Kazu and Suke the drunk are fabulous. The mystery is neatly plotted and kept me guessing to the end. Highly recommend, and can't wait for the next one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Honest And Truly on August 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Hiro Hattori is a Shinobi, a member of a secret samurai assassin clan hired to protect Portugese priest Father Mateo in sixteenth century Japan. When Hiro hears someone sneaking into their home late one night, he prepares to pounce, only to discover it is fellow Shinobi Kazu panicking as his boss at the shogunate (and cousin to the shogun) has been murdered.

Hiro hides Kazu before urging him to flee Kyoto. The next morning, he is awakened by a messenger summoning both him and Father Mateo to the shogunate to investigate the murder. On the face of it, they are called in because the shogun has heard of their discreet success in an investigation the previous year, but truly - with Kazu having no family and Hiro a known friend - Hiro is being set up to take the retribution for the murder if Kazu isn't found.

The view into the culture of Japan and the strictures it imposes are fascinating. That alone almost makes the book worth reading, but there is so much more to it. Though the book has some aspects that are somewhat formulaic, Hiro is a hero to root for, and Father Mateo is an moralistic Jesuit priest at his best.

As Lord Oda is coming to Kyoto with apparent designs on the shogunate, Hiro and Father Mateo have just three days to present the killer. With plenty of intrigue and additional plots in play, the book keeps moving. It is another of those where I promise that I'm just going to finish the chapter then put it down, only to find myself starting another chapter to see what happens next.

Kazu was unable to leave Kyoto, but he refuses to assist Hiro in answering the simple question of where he was on the night of the murder - and why his dagger was left on his desk and use to kill his superior.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By OpenBookSociety dot com on August 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele

Blade of the Samurai is a magnificent portal back in time to sixteenth century Japan. Here we find Hiro, a ninja working undercover as Jesuit priest Father Mateo’s translator, called upon by the shogun to find the murderer responsible for the shogun’s cousin’s death. Suspicion initially falls on Kazu, Hiro’s fellow undercover shinobi, and Hiro himself cannot help but question his friend’s innocence. However, as he investigates, the story becomes more and more complex as suspects and motives are revealed – the wife of the deceased, his mistress, the shogunate’s stable master and his apprentice, and a master carpenter are all plausible. As the body count mounts, so does the sense of urgency for resolution. A secondary plot involves the planned assassination of the shogun. The mystery is complex without being confusing and comes to a satisfying conclusion. There are a couple of surprises revealed at the end (not really pertaining to the mystery) that had me wanting to go back and reread bits to see if I had missed a clue.

This is the second book in the Shinobi Mystery Series, and though I think I would have benefited from reading the earlier installment first, I found this to be fine as a stand-alone novel. I do plan to add the first book to my to-read list. Spann writes in a rather spare style, but it flows beautifully and is full of imagery like the beauty of Japan itself. She obviously has great knowledge of and love for Japan’s history. She does a fine job of educating the reader in the ways of Japanese culture and class rules with deft ability, avoiding turning it into a dry history lesson. She creates a fascinating world full of real characters and political intrigue.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Frequently Bought Together

Blade of the Samurai: A Shinobi Mystery (Shinobi Mysteries) + Claws of the Cat: A Shinobi Mystery
Price for both: $39.34

Buy the selected items together