• Three Mysteries at Annie Bloom’s!

    If you’re in or around Portland, Oregon this Thursday (August 24, 2017) I hope you’ll join me, along with fellow mystery authors Lisa Alber (Path Into Darkness) and Kerry Schafer (World Tree Girl) for the Three Mysteries Launch Party at Annie Bloom’s Books!

    It all starts at 7pm on Thursday evening at Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland.


    We’ll have treats, trivia, mystery, and fun – I hope you’ll join us there!

    (If you can’t make it to the event, you can still contact Annie Bloom’s and arrange for one or all of us to sign a book for you! Contact information is at the link above.)  

  • It’s a Party! (A Facebook Party) With Prizes!

    Everyone loves a party, and authors are no exception!

    This afternoon (Tuesday, August 8) from 5-6:30pm Pacific Time, fellow mystery authors Lisa Alber, Kerry Schafer, and I are hosting a Facebook party with lots of prizes and giveaways. We hope you’ll join us. Click here for all the fun!

    Here’s just one of the fun prize packages I’m giving away:


    And yes, the socks and candy came from Japan!

    The party celebrates not only the recent release of my newest Hiro Hattori mystery, Betrayal at Igabut also today’s release of Kerry’s newest Shadow Valley Manor mystery, World Tree Girl, and Lisa Alber’s newest County Clare mystery, Path Into Darkness!


  • Comic Con

    Last weekend I attended San Diego Comic Con, where I spoke on a panel about “Creating Effective Villains” along with Brian Pinkerton, Genese Davis, and Eric Kieron Davis.

    Villains Panel

    (Side note: If you haven’t read Genese Davis’s fabulous fantasy thriller THE HOLDER’S DOMINION, about a female gamer who goes head to head with a hacker, get thee to a bookstore immediately. I’ll wait.)

    But one doesn’t merely go to comic con for the length of a panel – especially if you’re a gamer and comic/sci-fi/fantasy geek like me.

    Middle Earth Shadow of War

    I spent some time on the convention floor, making friends:

    Susan and Troopers

    And checking out all the great exhibits.

    Pokemon Photo

    I attended several other panels, including one on manga translation. One of the panelists was the translator for the new Naruto Second Generation manga, Boruto:

    Boruto Banner

    Since I was allowed to take a guest, my mother accompanied me to the convention. She’d never been to Comic Con, and had a fantastic time. She even recognized the Legend of Zelda display:

    Mom and Legend of Zelda Banner

    This was my first trip to San Diego Comic Con, but I hope it won’t be the last. I had a fantastic time, saw some amazing things, and enjoyed getting a sneak peek at what’s new and upcoming in the worlds of manga, comics, and film (including the newest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.)

    Comic Con

    Have you ever attended a Comic Con? Did you enjoy it despite the crowds?



  • A Visit With Suzy Approved – and Ninjas!

    Since it’s release week for BETRAYAL AT IGA, I’ve had the honor to talk with a number of bloggers, radio, and TV interviewers. I’ll try to share them all, for people who want to learn more about the Hiro Hattori novels, my writing process, and the books I read when I’m not writing! 

    Ninja Shuriken

    First up, this great interview with Suzy Approved Book Reviews, in which I get to talk a little more about my TBR pile and my favorite cities in Japan!

    I took today’s ninja-related photo at the Iga Ninja Museum in Iga-Ueno, Japan, while researching Betrayal at Iga. This is only part of the large collection of shuriken (throwing stars) on display at the museum. As you can see, they came in many different shapes–only some of which are stars!

  • Beyond the Trope: Ninjas and Japan!

    Curious about ninjas–either the real, historical ones or the fictional ones that appear in my Hiro Hattori mystery novels? I recently had the opportunity to talk about ninjas, fiction, and my upcoming mystery, BETRAYAL AT IGA, with one of my favorite podcasts: Beyond the Trope.

    Ninja on Mizugumo

    Check out the podcast here, and when you finish take a look at the archives for more fantastic podcast content!

  • Ninja News!

    The national reviews for Betrayal at Iga have started coming in, and they’re great!

    Publisher’s Weekly says: ““Spann keeps getting better, as shown by her fifth novel set in 16th-century Japan, a taut closed-circle mystery with perilous consequences…. Fans of classic whodunits will be pleased.”

    The novel releases July 11 in paperback and ebook formats, and I’ve scheduled the first Sacramento-area signings:

    - On July 14, I’ll be reading and signing at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills from 6:30 until 8pm

    - On July 22, I’ll be signing from 1pm-2pm at Barnes & Noble Birdcage Center in Citrus Heights from 1pm to 2pm.

    If you live in the Sacramento area, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

  • Happy New Year, 2017!

    I hope you had a happy holiday season and that 2017 is a blessed, happy, and joyful year for you and your family.

    Look for big changes on the website in the next few months. I’m working on a new design and porting the entire website over to a larger platform (which means better stability, and better capacity to deal with the increased traffic the website is receiving). It’s going to have a whole new look, as well as expanded content about the Hiro Hattori / Shinobi Mysteries, Japan, and ninjas.

    Exciting things in store!

    I took the photo below at the Awa Odori Kaikan in Tokushima, Japan. A “Kaikan” is an assembly hall (often used more in the sense of “guild hall” than simply a meeting place) and the Awa Odori Kaikan is a dance, museum, and assembly hall used for celebrating the Awa Odori – one of Japan’s most famous ritual dances.


    The Awa Odori Kaikan sits at the foot of Mount Bizan, and the lighted panel above is located near the boarding platform for the Bizan Ropeway, which takes visitors from the kaikan building to the top of Mount Bizan. 

    I’ll be blogging more about the Awa Odori, Mount Bizan, and the history of Tokushima Castle in the days to come - for now, I hope you have a wonderful new year!

  • Book Signings for The Ninja’s Daughter: 8/13 & 8/14!

    This weekend marks the start of the NINJA’S DAUGHTER book tour – and I couldn’t be more excited!

    Here are this weekend’s appearances, with links for directions:

    Saturday, August 13, 2016: 2:00 PM – Sacramento, CA
    Reading & Signing: Avid Reader at Tower
    1600 Broadway
    Sacramento, CA 95818
    Map Link

    Sunday, August 14, 2016: 2:00 PM – San Diego, CA
    Reading & Signing: Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore (Joint Signing with Jeri Westerson, author of A Maiden Weeping)
    5843 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100
    San Diego, CA 92111
    Map Link

    MG Flier

    I hope you’ll join me for books, Japanese treats, and fun!

  • The Japan Writers Conference 2016

    I’m pleased and honored to announce that I’ve been chosen to teach at the 9th annual Japan Writers’ Conference, which takes place October 28-29 (2016) in Tokushima, Japan.

    I’ll be teaching two workshops: “Writing a Killer Mystery” and “Coal to Diamonds: How to Edit Your Manuscript from First Draft to Final Polish.” The conference is free to attend, and the workshops are taught in English, so if you’re in Japan in October, and interested in writing, I hope you’ll plan to attend this wonderful conference!

    16H05 Tofukuji

    The conference changes locations each year; this year’s site is Tokushima University, a short walk from Tokushima Eki (Station) in the city of Tokushima.

    Tokushima City is located on Shikoku, the third of the four main islands of Japan (counting from North to South). I haven’t visited this island before, and I’m looking forward to the trip as well as the conference.

    After the conference concludes, I’m spending a couple of weeks researching the next few installments in the Hiro Hattori (Shinobi) mystery series–Hiro and Father Mateo have some exciting adventures ahead, and I can’t wait to walk in their footsteps, especially since I get to do it during Japan’s spectacular foliage season. (Big thanks to my husband, too, for staying home to care for the seahorses during my absence, and letting me roam Japan on a no-holds-barred research adventure!)

    More details in the weeks to come – and during my trip, I’ll be posting regular dispatches and sharing photos here, as well as on Twitter (@SusanSpann) and on Facebook ( I can’t wait to take you on another virtual Japanese adventure through photos!

  • Release Day for THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER!

    It’s finally here!

    I’m proud to announce that THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER, the fourth Hiro Hattori Novel (Shinobi Mystery) releases today from Seventh Street Books!

    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 samurai 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.

    For an author, each new release is special, and every book is a wonderful gift we get to share with the world, but THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER is my absolute favorite book in the series so far. It stands alone, so readers don’t have to have read the other books to enjoy it, which makes it even better!

    In honor of today’s release, I’m celebrating with a Facebook party starting at 10am Pacific Time – details here: THE NINJA’S DAUGHTER Release Party. I hope you’ll hop over to Facebook and join the fun!

3 Responses to News

  1. Mary Kay Thill says:

    I need your legal services with a contract I received from Black Rose Writing a small independent publisher. We are facebook frriends and you come recommended by Heather Web. Please call me at *****[Redacted for privacy]. Thanks

  2. Mira Prabhu says:

    Hello Susan! Great to find you by happenstance on cyberspace…just read your 25 things for Mystery Writers…wonderful, because I’m working on a very unusual form of one — a supernatural mystery with a protagonist driven by the tenets of eastern philosophy — i could not find anywhere but here to send you a personal message — but could you please respond to me at my gmail address? — or via my blog: All the best, and thanks for your excellent tips…Mira

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