‘Betrayal at Iga’ Is A Captivating Ninja Mystery [REVIEW]

Iga Ueno Castle

Peace negotiations are interrupted by murder in Susan Spann’s Betrayal at Iga. (Photo by Keith Peters, Flickr)

In the autumn of 1565, a master ninja detective and his priest sidekick accept an invitation to visit a remote mansion nestled deep in the Japanese mountains. Upon arriving, they find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery with serious repercussions. Will they find the killer in time? Find out in Susan Spann’s fifth Shinobi mystery, Betrayal at Iga. 


Seventh Street Books

Birthplace of the ninja clans, Hiro Hattori’s palacial home is nestled in the Iga Province, a place that is as austere and tranquil as it is beautiful. He and his friend, Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo, have fled Kyoto to seek refuge there with Hiro’s family.

They arrive during peace negotiations between Hiro’s clan and the rival Koga clan, and tensions are already running high. When one of the Koga ambassadors is murdered, suddenly Hiro and Father Mateo must race against the clock to find the killer in a village of assassins trained in the art of deception before war breaks out between the clans.

And if Hiro’s task isn’t already difficult enough, the prime suspects include his cousin, infamous ninja commander Hattori Hanzo, Hiro’s own mother, and his former lover. When the killer strikes again, Hiro must suddenly choose between his family and his honor.

I’ve always loved books that whisk me away to a distant land, to somewhere I’ve never been, but which leave me feeling as though I’ve traversed the roads and experienced the culture of the setting. Betrayal at Iga is one of those novels that does this successfully, and in spades.

Susan Span is a gifted author whose writing is as captivating as the landscape she describes. Her prose is both rich and enchanting, and she lures us into the ethereal beauty of the Iga Province with practiced skill and the brevity of a haiku. Then, just when we are marveling at the timeless wonders of Japanese culture, with a seeming flick of the wrist, readers find themselves caught in the midst of utter chaos, thus proving that as a writer, Spann has some serious ninja skills of her own.

Even if you have never read any of the other Shinobi mysteries before, you’re destined to enjoy Betrayal at Iga. Rife with historical detail, fascinating characters, a haunting setting, and a mindbending mystery with dire consequences, this is a book that will surely please Spann’s faithful following and win her new fans as well.


Susan Spann

Susan Spann

Susan Spann is the 2015 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year and the author of the Shinobi Mystery novels featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo.

Her debut novel, Claws of the Cat, was named a Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month. Other books in the series include Blade of the SamuraiFlask of the Drunken Master, and The Ninja’s Daughter

When not writing, Susan is a transactional attorney focusing on publishing and business law. She obtained her degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University where she studied Chinese and Japanese language, history and culture.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traditional archery, martial arts, and horseback riding. She lives in northern California with her husband, son, two cats, and an aquarium full of seahorses.

She invites readers to visit her home on the Web at SusanSpann.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

By Susan Spann
250 pgs. Seventh Street Books. $15.95

TLC Book Tours Tour HostYou may purchase Betrayal at Iga at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, and Seventh Street Books.

Betrayal at Iga is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

Betrayal at Iga Giveaway

Congratulations to Roxy Rodriguez who just won a copy of Betrayal at Iga. Although this giveaway has ended, stay tuned for more chances to win great prizes.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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