Author: Susan Spann
Series: Shinobi Mystery #4
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
This mystery with a master ninja has mastered my attention!
In Kyoto, Japan in 1565, a young woman is found murdered close to one of the river bridges. A young apprentice is shaken when he wakes up by the body is afraid that he may have killed her. He quickly solicits the help of the Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo and his Samurai attendant Hiro Hattori. When it is learned that the young girl is an actor’s daughter, the police have no need to investigate the death because it doesn’t matter as it doesn’t affect society. Outraged, Father Mateo pledges to help find the killer, even though the police order him to not investigate anything. Hiro Hattori plans to talk Father Mateo out of this idea until the girl’s father says something the makes Hiro realize that he is no actor. He is a shinobi, just like Hiro. Now with a duty to family, Hiro must also investigate the murder with nothing but the body and a golden coin found on the victim’s clothes. As Hiro and Father Mateo dig deeper, they find deception at every turn and with the self-appointed Shogun hot to rid Kyoto of all Portuguese, Hiro hopes to not have to investigate an additional murder of Father Mateo.
This was an amazing read. I picked it up without reading any of the other shinobi mysteries, but Spann didn’t even give me a chance to get settled in. It drew me in so fast that I had no time to look back and no need to either. There was a little bit of history that I could tell I was missing, but it didn’t draw away from the story at all. The main characters felt like they belonged together and I fell right in step with them. The banter that occurs between Father Mateo and Hiro was priceless at times. I love it when characters take on such a life in my imagination that I keep thinking of them for days/weeks to come after I have finished the book.
I’ve read up a little on Japanese culture before reading this book, particularly about the law of the Samurai, but I had no idea about the culture of entertainers and how they interacted with society. That was really eye opening. I’ve read quite a bit about Europe in this time period, but not much about Japan. Even so, Spann had no problem taking me to Kyoto in 1565. Everything was brought to life without a problem. The scenes were set up brilliantly. The supporting characters were great too. The bridge guards, police, and even Anna were perfectly placed. Overall, I can’t say enough good things about The Ninja’s Daughter. Now I have to read the previous books and hope that there will be a fourth book in the future!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through TLC book tours for an honest review. The comments and views stated in the above review are my own.