Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Seventh Street Books
Paperback & eBook; 256 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Hiro Hattori, Book #6
Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Jesuit Father Mateo head up to Mount Koya, only to find themselves embroiled in yet another mystery, this time in a Shingon Buddhist temple atop one of Japan’s most sacred peaks.
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.
Praise for Trial on Mount Koya
“A page-turning and atmospheric historical mystery that beautifully melds fascinating Japanese history with a cleverly constructed mystery reminiscent of And Then There Were None—if the famous Agatha Christie mystery had been set in medieval Japan on a sacred mountaintop during a snowstorm.” —Gigi Pandian, USA Today–bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries
“Susan Spann is up front in saying that Trial on Mount Koya is an homage to Agatha Christie. Believe me, she does the great Dame Agatha proud. This excellent entry in Spann’s series of Hiro Hattori mysteries offers plenty of esoteric clues and red herrings that are fun to chase. Along the way, she even does Christie one better, giving readers a fascinating glimpse of life and religion in feudal Japan. This is a book sure to please Spann’s growing legion of fans as well as anyone who loves the work of Agatha Christie.” —William Kent Krueger, Edgar® Award–winning author of Sulfur Springs
My Review: When I first read the blurb for this book, I have to admit that I was pretty anxious to get my hands on it. It sounded unlike anything that is currently on my bookshelf or my Kindle. Plus there was the added bonus of the author being new to me. A serious win-win.
Especially when the book is as good as this one.
(Also, Dear Wallet: There are apparently 5 books that come before this one. I apologize in advance.)
“I question your judgment, Hiro.”
This was the first sentence. Now seriously, tell me that doesn’t affect you! Because I know the affect it had on me; Why does he question Hiro’s judgment? Wait, who is talking? Where are they? And who the heck is Hiro? And the rest is history, y’all, because I kept on reading and didn’t stop until the book was finished. (With the occasional restroom break, that is. I even remembered to throw the kids some cheerios once or twice.) (That’s a lie. My husband fed them.)
The first thing I noted…besides my burning questions about the characters, who were as yet strangers to me…was the author’s ability to create a setting. To take her readers from their current space, to plunk them in the middle of the book’s space. I was able to jump into the setting of the novel and experience with ease what the characters were seeing. Next, the author’s ability to create fleshed out, humanly flawed and beautifully raw characters shot the book to staying-up-past-my-bedtime status. I couldn’t get enough of the plot, the characters, the writing. Not to mention, it’s pretty impressive that I was able to jump into this book…the 6th in the series…and not feel as though I was missing a ton of information. A definite recommend and a new favorite of mine!
About the Author
Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo.
Susan 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.
Susan is the 2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year, a former president of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime (National and Sacramento chapters), the Historical Novel Society, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is represented by literary agent Sandra Bond of Bond Literary Agency.
When not writing or representing clients, Susan enjoys traditional archery, martial arts, photography, and hiking. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and two cats, and travels to Japan on a regular basis.
For more information, please visit Susan Spann’s website. You can find Susan on Facebook and Twitter (@SusanSpann), where she founded the #PubLaw hashtag to provide legal and business information for writers.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, July 3
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 4
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog
Friday, July 6
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather
Sunday, July 8
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings
Tuesday, July 10
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Wednesday, July 11
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, July 12
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, July 13
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, July 16
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Tuesday, July 17
Guest Post at Writing the Renaissance
Wednesday, July 18
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Friday, July 20
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Saturday, July 21
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Tuesday, July 24
Feature at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, July 26
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Friday, July 27
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Monday, July 30
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, August 1
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, August 2
Review at A Book Geek
Friday, August 3
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Sunday, August 5
Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, August 6
Review at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 8
Review at Reading the Past
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 copies of Trial on Mount Koya! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.