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’s first novel, Claws of the Cat: A Shinobi Mystery (Minotaur Books, 2013) was named a Library Journal mystery debut of the month and was a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel.
The second and third Shinobi Mysteries, Blade of the Samurai (Minotaur Books, 2014) and Flask of the Drunken Master (Minotaur Books, 2015), also released to widespread critical and reader acclaim.
In 2016, Susan’s mystery series–now called the Hiro Hattori Novels–moved to Seventh Street Books, with the August release of the fourth installment, The Ninja’s Daughter, followed by 2017’s Betrayal at Iga.
Her most recent Hiro Hattori novel, Trial on Mount Kōya (Seventh Street Books, 2018), pays dual homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and to Susan’s love for Kōyasan, one of Japan’s most sacred mountains. The next two Hiro Hattori novels are currently under contract for release in 2019, and 2020.
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 is currently living in Tokyo, Japan, attempting to climb 100 mountains in a single year and writing a nonfiction book, currently titled 100 SUMMITS, about facing fear and pursuing dreams (scheduled for publication in 2020, from Prometheus Books).
For signings and author appearance information, check out the appearances page!