Susan Spann Finds Her Muse High Atop Mount Koyasan [GUEST POST]

Konpon Daito Pagoda

Structures like the impressive two-storied Konpon Daito Pagoda elicit quiet contemplation and meditation from even the most experienced traveler. (Photo by Susan Spann)

Most of the time, the plot of each new novel drives my research, but in the case of Trial on Mount Koya, a sacred mountain turned that process upside-down. Each Hiro Hattori novel features a crime in a different setting, and a victim from a different social class or niche, allowing me to keep the series fresh and interesting. Read more of this post

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Japan’s Sacred Peak Offers Quiet, Contemplation, and Murder in ‘Trial on Mount Koya’ [REVIEW]

Monk heading to Gobyo

A Buddhist temple may seem an unlikely place for a mystery, but Susan Spann’s ninja sleuth Hiro Hittori discovers death and treachery inside its walls in Trial on Mount Koya. (Photo by ccdoh1, Flickr)

A ninja and a priest walk into a Buddhist temple. Although it may sound like the beginning of a joke, it is actually the premise for the sixth installment of what is one of the most unusual and fascinating mystery series I’ve encountered in recent years. Penned by novelist Susan Spann, the latest Hiro Hattori novel, Trial on Mount Koya, reunites fans with her ninja sleuth and pays homage to one of the greatest mystery writers who ever lived, Dame Agatha Christie.
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The Surprising Role of Women in Medieval Japan [GUEST POST]

Geisha

Over the centuries, Japanese women have been everything from shopkeepers and moneylenders to geisha and warriors. (Photo by Yiannis Theologos Michellis, Flickr)

Many people don’t realize the important roles women played in medieval Japan, or that a Japanese woman’s “place” was often in the shop—or even on the archery range—as well as in the home. Read more of this post

‘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.  Read more of this post