Author: Susan Spann
Series: Shinobi Mystery #8
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Release Date: February 15, 2022
After almost three years, Hiro Hattori and Father Mateo have returned for another mystery!
Upon arriving in Edo to fulfill their task of alerting Iga operatives that they may be in danger of Lord Oda’s uprising, Hiro and Father Mateo get caught up in the fire brigade’s rush to extinguish a burning building before it can spread to other structures. Head of the fire brigade is no other than Hiro’s childhood nemesis from Iga, but he must put feelings aside to warm him of the possible danger. When the remains of a samurai are discovered in the fire, all attention is put on the shop owner who is responsible for the damage and the death. As the penalty in Edo for a negligent fire is death, Father Mateo and Hiro agree to investigate and determine the true cause of the fire to hopefully spare an innocent man’s life.
I have loved this entire series and this installment is no different. What makes these stories so great is the banter between the two main characters. It’s just comical and makes the story move along so well, but the mysteries are always intriguing to keep the reader trying to guess at what the truth is. With colorful supporting characters as always, Spann does a great job introducing new friends as you lose some along the way. The ending made me feel like this could be the end for the series, but I sure hope not. I’ve waited three years just for this one and I hope she manages to pen one or two more before it’s officially over.