OVERRIDE

Claws of the Cat

A Shinobi Mystery

Susan Spann

Minotaur Books

May 1564: When a samurai is brutally murdered in a Kyoto teahouse, master ninja Hiro has no desire to get involved. But the beautiful entertainer accused of the crime enlists the help of Father Mateo, the Portuguese Jesuit Hiro is sworn to protect, leaving the master shinobi with just three days to find the killer in order to save the girl and the priest from execution.

The investigation plunges Hiro and Father Mateo into the dangerous waters of Kyoto’s floating world, where they learn that everyone from the elusive teahouse owner to the dead man’s dishonored brother has a motive to keep the samurai’s death a mystery. A rare murder weapon favored by ninja assassins, a female samurai warrior, and a hidden affair leave Hiro with too many suspects and far too little time. Worse, the ninja’s investigation uncovers a host of secrets that threaten not only Father Mateo and the teahouse, but the very future of Japan.

Debut author Susan Spann delivers a riveting mystery filled with rich period detail and a fine sense of Japanese culture. Claws of the Cat boasts a detective like no other and a world never seen before in crime fiction.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
 
 
Father Mateo strolled through the narrow yard, hands folded and face cast down in meditation. His shoulders bent against the predawn chill. The first two weeks of May had been warm in Kyoto, but this morning the switch to his summer kimono seemed just a bit premature.
At the other end of the garden a shadow snaked over the wall and into a cherry tree with no more sound than a spring wind rustling leaves.
The priest walked on, unaware.
He passed the koi pond without a glance. It was still too dark to watch the fish. At the back wall of the garden the Jesuit
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Claws of the Cat

When a Kyoto samurai is murdered at a teahouse, the victim's son (a police commander) demands quick resolution. He is ready to convict and execute Sayuri, the young entertainer found at the scene, and who happens to be a Christian convert. But her priest, Father Mateo, negotiates two days to prove her innocence. Matsui Hiro, a master shinobi, or ninja, is responsible for protecting the Portuguese Jesuit priest, and since Father Mateo feels obligated to save Sayuri, Hiro moves into detective mode. Hiro initially observes details that indicate the killing was personal, but then he learns that the teahouse owner destroyed financial records after the crime. Further, the victim was not universally loved; his family includes an estranged brother, a widow who is also a Christian convert, and a defiant samurai daughter. Time is running out for Sayuri. VERDICT While Spann demonstrates admirable attention to detail in her ninja detective debut, it's the contemporary tone of her prose that makes

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Susan Spann

  • Susan Spann is a transactional attorney and former law school professor whose practice focuses on publishing law and business. She has a deep interest in Asian culture and has studied Mandarin and Japanese. Her hobbies include Asian cooking, fencing, knife and shuriken throwing, traditional archery, martial arts, rock climbing, and horseback riding. She keeps a marine aquarium where she raises seahorses and rare corals. She lives in northern California with her family.

  • Susan Spann © David Llewellyn
    Susan Spann
BACK

COMMUNITY

Criminalelement.com

    MORE BLOG POSTS
    BACK

    READING GUIDE

    OTHER GUIDES

    Discussion Guide
    BACK

    BUY THE BOOK

    Available Formats and Book Details

    Claws of the Cat

    A Shinobi Mystery

    Susan Spann

    BACK

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Minotaur Books

    BACK