Sunday, August 24, 2014

Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann

When one of Father Mateo’s congregation, the lovely, young entertainer in a geisha house, is accused of the murder of one of the samurai patrons; Matsui Hiro, Father Mateo’s Japanese translator/bodyguard (and undercover shinobi or ninja) lends his skills to find the real killer. The murdered man’s son gives the pair 3 days to discover the murderer or face death as part of the son’s traditional revenge.

This is a great mystery set in 16th century Japan, and you can almost feel, hear and smell the setting and live the story right along with the wonderful lead character, Hiro and Father Mateo. The story is sprinkled with memorable supporting characters as well: Ana, the curmudgeonly housekeeper, and Luis, the Portuguese merchant and guest in Father Mateo’s home.

The story is filled with authentic sounding and feeling details, and the author certainly has the chops to assure you of their genuine nature. This was a fabulous reading experience, and I do mean experience. I feel like I just returned from a trip to medieval Japan I was so immersed in the story. I highly recommend this to historical mystery fans especially those that have enjoyed the Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland.

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