Blog Book Tour | “Trial at Mount Koya” (Book No.6 Hiro Hattori novels) by Susan Spann A beautifully atmospheric #HistoricalMystery atop a sacred mountain during a harrowing blizzard lends a suspenseful backdrop to evolving drama!

Posted Friday, 13 July, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I asked to join the blog tour for ‘Trial at Mount Koya’ as last Summer, I was meant to participate on the tour for IGA before it was cancelled. I love celebrating this series, as despite the fact I originally received both CLAWS & BLADE on a blog tour, I am never certain which story I tip my hat to read is going to become a ‘beloved series’ of mine. Each story which touches my heart is truly a special discovery as I am quite particular about what I read and the kind the stories I hold quite dear.

This Spring, when I received the book in the post, one thing happily surprised me! I was quoted on the Press Release for the first time in relation to my prior readings of the series itself! Talk about a moment where your brilliantly gobsmacked to see your quote and the words you used to fuse your thoughts to your blog in reference to how reading about Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori resonates with you directly! I was both humbled and excited knowing my words are reaching others as this lovely novel takes flight into the world and into new reader’s hearts!

I received a complimentary copy of “Trial at Mount Koya” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Whilst I am participating on the blog tour hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours of which I am an avid hostess as Historical Fiction and the eclectic route I take through the subgenres therein is a blissitude of its own!

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Why I personally love *devouring!* the Hiro Hattori Novels:

Series Overview: Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo investigate crime in medieval Japan, from the palaces of the samurai to the colorful world of Kyoto’s theater district—and beyond. The series weaves fictional plotlines through one of the most exciting—and dangerous—times in Japanese history.

Ms Spann has created a series for the historical reader at heart! A bit of a backstory about my ardent admiration for this portal into 16th Century Japan:

I still marvel at how I came to know of the series through the second release Blade of the Samurai whilst being blessed to have read the series from the beginning in Claws of the Cat. Each step along the way my heart has felt pulled into the drama and the suspense behind how the friendship Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori have shaped their lives – there is a lot going on in the series, from a historical perspective and from the world’s point of view of where Ms Spann has alighted us into her lovely 16th Century world. Her world-building is what makes this such a keen series to feel a part of as you nearly take for granted it’s not the 16th Century each time you place yourself in step with her characters!

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On where we left Father Mateo & Hiro Hattori:

I loved seeing Father Mateo react to Hiro’s relatives – from his grandmother to his mother to his cousin – each in turn showed a different side to Hiro but they also revealled a bit about themselves. Such as when the priest realised he was amongst those who are emotionally removed from the crime committed here because they themselves are trained for such crimes as shinboi. They have such a different life compared to the kind of life a priest would accept or understand; something he finds difficult to process time to time such as now. As he gathers information about certain aspects of what transpired he is put into uncomfortable positions to overhear things which do shock him a bit to learn.

Finding Hiro’s grandmother Akiko had taken in an orphaned girl and named her Tane was an interesting twist to the main plot. Especially as Ms Spann showed how the girl could only communicate through Sigh Language – as it spoke to homegrown signs the girl devised herself and used to speak on her behalf to to the family she lost. It also pointed to the fact, those who are hard of hearing or are unable to speak were not limited to only occupying later centuries but were alive during previous generations as well. It was interesting to hear the reasons why these persons were kept from records and observations in regards to populations. Sadly this is still being practiced today – of removing marginalised persons from historical records in an ill-attempt to have them erased from our memory.

Poisons are a tricky beast – they are effectively one of my favourite devices used in mysteries because of how diverse the choice of poisons are to be found irregardless of the century a story is told. In this one, what was interesting is the layers – of how one crime led to another (a near miss) and how if you looked at these from a distance, there was a layering of how someone wished harm to some but not to others; as if there was a message being carried out in the delivery of the crimes.

This is how Ms Spann holds my attention – she makes me endeavour to sleuth a bit ahead of her characters – daring me to seek out the hidden threads of how everything connects giving me an intellectually robust mystery I readily find enjoyment in engaging inside. I love seeing how her mind ferrets out her secondary story-lines – of how all the pieces of each character’s tapestry is finely orchestrated to be revealled bit by bit and even then, there are surprises for us – either in their character’s heart or the will of how their perspective might change as they live through different experiences.

She holds a particular attention towards detailed continuity and of evoking an enlarged sense of the wider world in which feudal Japan existed; of how all the branches of individual lives were being affected by the rise of power and of the augmentation of shifting tides of alliances therein. There is a hefty potboiler of dramatic revelation and exploration of what makes a country tick from the inside out whilst not to be overshadowed by the pursuit of a humbled priest who takes his personal mission deeply seriously as his soul’s intended journey for this life he’s led. As we weave in and out of the series, we see the landscape of Japan shifting, of how lives are being affected by the shogun currently in reign and of how even the shinobi themselves were not immune to the growing changes within their world.

-quoted from my review of Betrayal at Iga

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On my connection to Susan Spann:

I started visiting the chats hosted by @LitChat in the latter months of 2013, as it was around the time of the conference at The Betsy in which I started to cross paths with regular chatters, amongst whom were Natalia Sylvester (début novelist of “Chasing the Sun”) and Susan Spann. I am unsure which month I first started to notice Ms. Spann as a friendly presence who always reminded me of myself — someone who provided cheerful commentary, engaging questions for each visiting guest author, and a wicked knowledge base on a variety of topics. Generally speaking, I always click-over to read a person’s Twitter profile, but whilst engaged in those #LitChat(s) I felt like it was this magical rendezvous for the bookish and those who are attuned to bookish culture.

In this way, it wasn’t until I learnt of Blade of the Samurai was going on a blog tour that I decided to discover a bit more about her! In so doing, I learnt who she was ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak! I always considered her one of my ‘friends in the twitterverse’ but I never disclosed this to her until I was on the (Blade of the Samurai) blog tour in September 2014! Such serendipity as the tour brought us a bit closer and I am grateful that Twitter is a social-positive method of reaching past our distances in geography to connect to people who share a passion for the written word. We have continued to remain in touch although we do not get to ‘meet-up’ on Twitter as often as we once did due to our schedules in recent years.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Spann through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst attending #LitChat or in private convos. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author, whether I am reading a book by them for the first time or continuing to read their series in sequence of publication.

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Blog Book Tour | “Trial at Mount Koya” (Book No.6 Hiro Hattori novels) by Susan Spann A beautifully atmospheric #HistoricalMystery atop a sacred mountain during a harrowing blizzard lends a suspenseful backdrop to evolving drama!Trial on Mount Koya
Subtitle: A Hiro Hattori Novel : A Shinobi Mystery
by Susan Spann
Source: Direct from Publisher

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.

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781633884151

Also by this author: Author Q&A : Susan Spann (on behalf of her Shinobi mysteries), Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, Flask of the Drunken Master, Interview with Susan Spann (FLASK), The Ninja's Daughter, Author Interview (Hiro Hattori Novels), Betrayal at Iga

Also in this series: Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, Flask of the Drunken Master, The Ninja's Daughter, Betrayal at Iga, (Interview) Trial on Mount Koya

Published by Seventh Street Books

on 3rd July, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 256

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Ms Susan Spann

Susan Spann

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.

In 2018, whilst under contract with Prometheus Books, Ms Spann is travelling throughout Japan to climb the #100Summits. She blogs her mountaineering adventures, shares her photography on both Instagram and Twitter and is writing the book which will debut in 2020 under the tentative title: 100 Summits.

Converse via: #HiroHattoriNovels + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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my curiosity has been percolating for KOYA:

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I’ve become quite attached to the story behind Ms Spann’s travels throughout Japan this year for her #100Summits project, as whilst I was caught up in the throes of my life over the score of the past year and a half, somewhere along the way whilst preoccupied with my father’s recovery and other things going on – I completely *missed!* the revelations coming through her blog – both prior to and after her recovery from a bout of Cancer! I was quite troubled at first when I learnt of what she had gone through – more on my end of things, of not realising what she had just lived through and of feeling I had this :void: of time where I was quite unawares of the importance of her current trip to Japan.

I happily have been observing her joys of climbing the summits – through her journalled entires across three platforms: the twitterverse, Instagram and her lovely blog! She’s truly a warrior in both spirit and as a writer – focusing on her transitions, openly acknowledging what she’s gone through and proving no matter how much darkness erupts through our lives, there is still a heap of Light left to be found! She quite literally has left everything on her blog – if you ever wanted to read a memoir in-progress, now is your chance! She leaves her comments open for a short while after she posts a new update, therefore, surprise her sometime with a note if you get the chance to drop by and see where she recently travelled!

Over the years, I’ve grown familiar with a few of the places in Japan Ms Spann has appreciated finding – the greatest observation though is how her heart is happy in Japan. I knew this was going to be an incredible year for her – spiritually, personally and musefully as a writer. It’s hard not to feel lifted yourself after seeing her photographs and internalising her journey. I love how we both have a healthy appreciation for nature and flowers – the architecture never fails to make me feel awe-inspired but moreso than anything, watching her undertake a journey towards scaling #100Summits is rather powerful!

I can’t wait to read her fuller thoughts in the forthcoming release of this tentatively titled book – as it is another dimension of how Japan has left an indefinite mark on Ms Spann’s soul. Whilst her journey into the mountains of Japan re-affirms her passion for the country it is also a period of highlighting how she continuously finds ways of alighting herself into the echoes of the past in modern day Japan! One thing I have always remained so dearly thankful to see in her Cosy Historical Mysteries set in the 16th Century is how wholly authentic they feel – not just for the century of interest – but as a homage to a place and setting you authentically feel has been understood by the writer; it’s become a part of their spirit and the etches of that connection can be felt, seen and known through each story they pen.

Each time I put down an installment of this series, I am aching for the next to be ready to consume! You get so wrapped inside these mysteries – of where we leave Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori – you simply don’t want time to stand still to forsake a moment of their lives!

Thus, I’ve been happily curious about KOYA since last year but I’ve been mindfully in bliss observing Ms Spann’s journey this Spring and Summer; so in many regards, I felt like Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori were not ‘too far off’ this year at all! They could very well have been leaving footprints near the summits Ms Spann has been climbing erstwhile enthralled and surprised by all the fuss we, dear readers are making on their behalf to know ‘what comes next’ in their exciting adventures!!

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my review of trial on mount koya:

Quite classically, as I resume where I left off with Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori, I am re-aligning myself straight into a heated row the two of them are exchanging about the welfare of their dear housekeeper Ana, the wails of Hiro’s cat Gato and the absurdity of climbing to their destination whilst a full-on Winter storm is on fast approach! What might feel rather illogical to others is rather straight-forward in their minds! They were endowed with a particular mission and nothing will stand in their way to accomplish it if their stubborn natures are any inclination towards what they are willing to do! I never minded their stubbornness though – in Father Mateo it is rather endearing, as he’s a man of the cloth who takes his vows rather seriously to remain in aide to anyone who crosses his path who needs outside help. Whereas with Hiro, ah, how to put it – his personality can at times prove a bit more taxing but he’s definitely the bloke you want in your corner if you ever are in dire need of the kind of protection he can provide!

The lush descriptive narrative and evocative phrases are what I have come to expect out of the pen of Ms Spann and in this sixth installment, she’s continued to endear me to her words! It isn’t just the placing of the contextual elements in the background of her scenes, but it’s this awareness of Japanese culture, tradition, religion and setting which fuses me so wholly into her scenes, I feel as if I’ve transmorphed straight out of modern America and re-settled into the 16th Century! Each installment pulls me further into this world – whilst granting me a purview of the part of Japan which has greatly influenced the writer.

Being a reader of World Religions, I have happily appreciated the overtures of religious history within the novels, as Spann highlights the differences of spirituality between her lead characters but also, the supporting cast – this time focusing on Buddhist monks, which delighted me, as Buddhism is one of my favourite Eastern religions to research. Years ago whilst contemplating going on writing retreats – either organised or solo, I came across a lovely research book for the avid traveller of where you could take housing options at abbeys and monasteries. Sadly I’ve lost track of where the book is now in my personal library but if one day I could re-locate it, I’d love to visit quite a few of them and see if the stillness of their settings and locales might enable me to resume the manuscripts I’ve left on the back-burner for the past five years.

Moving into KOYA, I had a purposeful heart to place IGA slightly outside the forefront of my memory as there were a lot of critically emotional scenes which not only gutted me to read but they were life altering for Hiro himself. Observing his remorse and anguish bothered me as I know the process he has to walk through to find peace in his memories and heart will not be easily won. There are moments in our lives which define us without our own influences to temper how we react or even to guide us away from them. Hiro has suffered so dearly much in such a short expanse of time, it is incredible how he has the clarity of mind and the strength of spirit to carry onward; though through his training, it is plausible but on the human condition side of the ledger, you can tell he’s still fully within his period of grief.

It isn’t often you are happily surprised by how a death scene is laid to rights in a series you’ve grown accustomed to reading! The very first scene of death is a work of art, dear hearts, as Ms Spann has outshined herself! She fuses a lot of back-history into her novels, thus, I was not surprised a portion of this scene was tethered to the regional history of where we were in-scene with the religious beliefs of the priests. I thought for sure I knew what to expect when the scene was about to arrive in view, but what was interesting I felt was both the horror of the discovery of the body countered with how it was positioned which is where the artfulness of this moment comes into play. Well done, Ms Spann!

Hailstones fell with startling force, as if the gods were flinging icy gravel from the sky. They bounced off the roof of the abbot’s home and across the ground like swarms of frightened crickets.

Quoted from from an uncorrected ARC of “Trial on Mount Koya”;

text in the finished book may differ from the ARC. With permission of the publisher.

Atmospheric conditions and climatic nuance are some of my favourite passages in novels as they reassert how fragile we are against mother nature! The intuitiveness of accurately placing us inside a thunderous storm of epic proportions is not easily done – however, when I read this passage, it felt like the conditions were growing in both dimension and severity! It is a brilliant time to have a suspicion of doubt murmuring through this closed community where the lightning and the storm rises the tension, enables the fear to thrive and allows the clues to become shadowed from those seeking them. As the hardest way to sleuth out the truth is when there is no visible reason leading you to suspect anyone of the guilt from the crime which has proposed more questions than it has answered.

Even Father Mateo appears to be properly aghast over this mystery! Not just from the clear differences in religious beliefs but of why the dead in this particular instance are being depicted the way in which they are – almost as if the display of their persons is meant to trigger either a warning to those who find them or insinuate a message no one has yet surmised as being delivered. Hiro for his part is attempting to remain emotionally detached, to focus on the facts (as limited as they seem) and intuit out the rest as he’s able to gather out of his enquiries. Evenso, the foulness of the weather raging outside is impending their progress, almost as a signal all is rather grim far past what they perceive!

I loved seeing the goma ritual as casting prayers through fire is cross-relatable to other spiritual backgrounds. The purposefulness of intention is what creates the prayer to manifest out of the mind and cast into the flames whilst the singular belief in what is being spoken silently can be felt spiritually is a leap of faith itself. The beauty of rituals like these is how they attempt to help the living transition through a period of mourning by actively seeking ways to find a honour the dead in ways which keeps their faith a living testament of their beliefs and customs.

I have the tendency to favour Father Mateo’s views on the world as in this instance, his compassionate understanding for the dire necessity for the nuns to walk to this temple was sparked out of sheer will to survive not the mark of women who were attempting to reverse sacred order! The storm itself you would think would be justification enough but after having learnt the ordeal they had survived, surely compassionate sympathy should be an innate response rather than one which needs to be learned? There are moments not just in this series but in life, where you would think people could see past themselves and accept there are circumstances outside of controlled order which lean on being sympathetic to how life does not run according to plan but rather can be altered in an instant?

I was overjoyed personally, as this allowed Ana to rejoin Father Mateo and Hiro – even if I had to admit this would cause unforeseen issues for all of them. Though they had equal disfavour of travelling together whilst visiting Iga as well. This is definitely a century where equal rights between genders were not easily won nor was it easy for either gender to find traction in their right to choose their own destinies. It almost was luck of fate which path you walked and of which alliances you had in your circle in order to live with the uncertain futures of a century bent against the wills of people in power who did not have the will of the people at the forefront of their priorities.

My joy of their reunion was short-lived, as the women truly upset the apple cart by their presence! Instead, soon after they are safely removed from the blinding snow, Father Mateo and Hiro take-on the arduous process of interviewing the priests and seeing if they can source out not just the means to cause harm to others but the motives which guided the actions. Hiro leans forward with suspicions before innocence is proven whereas Father Mateo would rather error on caution and lead with more common belief of being ‘innocent’ ahead of proving one’s guilt. Their dual approach to solving crimes is what has allowed them to endure all the obstacles leading up to this point in their journey – as each of them wrestles out the truth in such an individual fashion as to forestall a crime going unresolved due to their selflessness in placing the victims ahead of their own welfare.

I felt as frustrated as Gato at one point! Surely, I would have thought Hiro would have placed her needs a bit ahead of the necessity to solve the crime? The only good news is Gato was left unharmed as there was a moment, dear hearts, where I nearly lost my breath thinking all was not right with Gato! Being a girl whose loved cats and have kept their company all of her life, it’s hard to think harm would befall someone’s beloved feline companion! Giving Gato over to Ana, I felt not only resolved one concern but granted unexpected joy after incredible duress the women had to endure before arriving at a place they were never welcomed.

Ippen stole my heart – without revealling anything, it is becoming a lovely trend throughout the series where certain secondary characters or even more minor characters of influence are touching my heart! In this instance, it is how innocence and the rites of the dead can affect everyone irregardless of age or influence of wealth. We all grieve with mutual anguish and it is how we look after the dead which bespeaks the most to our humanity.

I am wicked happy to lament this story is not predictable even if you know the premise through Dame Christie, Ms Spann has re-envisioned it in such a way to thread enough of a distance from the original to give us a wholly original tale which sparks its own accord for how a spree of killings can become a daunting case to solve! I was on the edge of my seat each step of the way, as despite knowing the blueprint of what was happening (as it is revealled) it didn’t lead me to draw preliminary conclusions – there is an intricacy to her stories and how she crafts her mysteries – the key reason I am drawn inside them as readily as I am – to where, I felt this was a rather sophisticated crime due to the high level of premeditation needed to carry it out!

On why I love reading the Hiro Hattori / Shinobi Mysteries:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact I did borrow a copy of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None from my local library ahead of reading this novel as it was the inspiration behind the story itself. The irony there is the fact I honestly couldn’t get synced into the plot! Mostly, as rather uniquely, I think I accidentally stumbled across another adaption – as whilst I was in the early bits of Christie’s novel, there was such a stark familiarity to the story-line, I was hearing or rather seeing mirror images of thought which I had previously known as being Verity Kent’s!

Isn’t that rather interesting!? I decided to forego reading Christie’s original version and dove straight into Spann’s adaptive text instead! I am unsure if Verity Kent’s first mystery was meant to be rooted so dearly into Christie’s vision but this was my takeaway after having the library’s copy! I hadn’t come across the novel in question until I received it within a computer mystery game as a free bonus – that particular copy is lost to me now, though most likely hiding away in one of my boxes of books still awaiting to be properly housed on a shelf in my personal library. By the time I re-discover my copy, I might be a in a better frame of mind to tuck back into it or I might find, Verity Kent has staid with me – in which case, I shall defer to Ms Spann’s Trial on Mount Koya as being the new line of thought towards how this story can become re-envisioned by a writer who sees the potential in its components of having multiple victims of crimes which are not easily ascribed an explanation!

In regards to our mutual admiration for Agatha Christie, I direct you to what I previously disclosed after reading Sophie Hannah’s first outing continuing the adventures of Poirot!

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I found it fascinating how Ms Spann showed how spirituality in any form puts Hiro at a disadvantage whilst proving Father Mateo is open to learning how others connect to God. In this installment, through the exploration of setting this mystery tucked into a sacred mountain for the Buddhist who live there, we are privy to the trials of owning the fact, even in the 16th Century where Buddhism was actively practiced and observed, there were learning lessons for tolerance and acceptance waiting for those who came across people of believing differently than they did themselves.

Spann happily breaks down the rituals and the observances of the Buddhist faith in a manner of approach which is both wonderfully insightful and easy to understand. She builds on my own readings and research whilst providing keener insight into how these particular priests are practicing not just their faith but the rituals which bind them together in this setting. I also noticed Spann is paying homage to the atmospheric inclinations of her mentor (Dame Christie) whilst maintaining her own signature style which has kept this series a beloved read of my own.

I oft see readers mentioning you can read this series out of sequence but for me, personally, I do not see how you can have an understanding of the growth of the characters nor the breadth of what the series is eluding to as each installment is a percolator of events yet to be disclosed. The relationship between Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori is duly layered and has thrived due to how each of them has chosen to forge a friendship with someone they never expected to feel a humbled connection too. If you start this series out of sequence, you would be sacrificing the beauty of living through their experiences to gleam the best insight into how the series is lovingly built around these two men!

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In true fashion of our beloved heroes within the series, Father Mateo & Hiro Hattori were very matter-of-fact upon closure of this mysterious crime! They set their mind to righting a new wrong whilst setting their will to embrace the difficulty of its execution – for these men do not traverse through passages of ease, they tread where few others would dare lay their own feet!

I cannot wait to hear snippets of the next installment – as I am once again in a fever of joy of having re-stepped through this portal into the 16th Century of Feudal Japan; I pray, my next re-entry will not be too far off in the future. I do fear, the closer we get to understanding the wider breadth of where the series is leading us – the more chilling the truths will be to swallow, especially as we still are in the dark about whose benefaction is aiding the journey of Father Mateo under Hiro’s watchful protection!

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This book review is courtesy of:

Seventh Street Books

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whilst participating on the lovely blog tour:

Trial on Mount Koya blog tour via HFVBTs

Return on the 3rd of August for my interview with Ms Spann!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!

Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

@SusanSpann has enticed us back to 16th Century Japan with an atmospheric entry of suspense which transplants us directly into the shoes of Father Mateo & Hiro Hattori! Click To Tweet

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{SOURCES: Cover art for “Trial on Mount Koya”, book synopsis and blog tour banner were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and are used with permission. Cover art of “Betrayal at Iga” and series synopsis were provided by the publisher Seventh Street Press (via Prometheus Books) and are used with permission. Cover art of “Claws of the Cat”, “Blade of the Samauri”, “Flask of the Drunken Master” and “The Ninja’s Daughter”, the author’s photograph of Susan Spann and author biography were provided by the author Susan Spann on previous blog tours and used with permission. Small quotations from Prometheus Books titles can be used in critical reviews as stipulated in the Copyright Notice; thus my quoted text is being used with permission of the publisher (including quotes from ARCs). Photos from Susan Spann’s Instagram feeds are embedded due to codes provided by Instagram. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 13 July, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 16th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Equality In Literature, Feudal Japan History, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, History, Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese History, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity

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