Mystery: Debut of the Month | June 1, 2013

claws Mystery: Debut of the Month | June 1, 2013OrangeReviewStar Mystery: Debut of the Month | June 1, 2013 Spann, Susan. Claws of the Cat: A Shinobi Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2013. 276p. ISBN 9781250027023. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250027030. M

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 this intriguing 16th-century historical so accessible. Laura Joh Rowland fans will like this book for the time period, but the “buddy tone” is reminiscent of Ian Morson’s “Nick Zuliani” series and Gary Corby’s “Athenian Mysteries” series.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind


Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin