July 21, 2014

Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann: Book Tour and a GIVEAWAY!

I didn't like Blade of the Samurai at first. I was reading it on my phone, and I didn't realize there was a glossary at the back, so I was like, "Shinobi? What?" And I kept getting distracted from the plot by the Japanese words and customs that were being explained.

But after about 2-3 chapters, I got a feel for the tone and characters, and then I started really enjoying the setting. It's clear that Susan Spann has heavily researched feudal Japan, and she manages to disseminate a lot of information, which makes the mystery more interesting.

Matsui Hiro is an undercover shinobi (ninja), who has been hired to protect Father Mateo, a Jesuit Portuguese priest. Hiro and Father Mateo previously solved a murder, so when a samurai is found stabbed to death at the Shogunate, Hiro and Father Mateo are called in to find out who killed Ashikaga Saburo. Saburo was a high-ranking official, so Hiro and Father Mateo must interact with everyone from the noble Ashikaga family and assorted Shogunate officials, to the servants at the Shogunate, and men at a local tavern who may have unknowingly encountered the killer.

Hiro crisscrosses Kyoto multiple times in his attempts to find out the truth: because he knows that if they don't meet the Shogun's three day deadline to catch the killer, then it will be his own neck on the line.

If you're looking for a light mystery with a lot of fascinating cultural tidbits, then Blade of the Samurai is the perfect book for you!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Sure!

TLC Book Tours provided me a copy of the book to read, and they want to give one of you a copy too! To enter to win a hard copy or an e-book version (Nook or Kindle), leave a comment on this post, telling me which version you'd prefer AND if you'd like to travel back in time to feudal Japan or not. (Just trying to weed out the spammers here and see who actually pays attention to the entry rules!) US addresses only please, comments will be open until 7/28/14.