Susan Spann

Mystery Author

The latest entry in the thrilling 16th century Japanese mystery series, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo!

Coming August 2 from Seventh Street Books!

Pre-order Now!


The Ninja’s Daughter

Autumn, 1565: When an actor’s daughter is murdered on the banks of Kyoto’s Kamo River, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo are the victim’s only hope for justice.

As political tensions rise in the wake of the shogun’s recent death, and rival warlords threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace—but Hiro has a personal connection to the girl, and must avenge her. The secret investigation leads Hiro and Father Mateo deep into the exclusive world of Kyoto’s theater guilds, where they quickly learn that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. With only a mysterious golden coin to guide them, the investigators uncover a forbidden love affair, a missing mask, and a dangerous link to corruption within the Kyoto police department that leaves Hiro and Father Mateo running for their lives.

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  • The Purification Deer at Japan’s Kasuga Shrine

    I took today’s photo near the entrance to Kasuga Taisha (Shrine), in Nara, Japan.

    16G21 Deer fountain

    Purification fountains sit near the entrance to Shinto shrines, providing a place for worshippers and visitors to ritually purify their hands and mouths (by rinsing) before entering the shrine. Many of these fountains are simple and natural, a stone basin fed by a stream or a bamboo fountain. The fountain outside Kasuga Taisha emerges from a bamboo “pipe” in the mouth of a deer, no doubt a reference to the sacred deer that inhabit Nara park.