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Shinobi Mystery Books In Order

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Publication Order of Shinobi Mystery Books

Claws of the Cat (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blade of the Samurai (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flask of the Drunken Master (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ninja's Daughter (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Betrayal at Iga (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trial on Mount Koya (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost of the Bamboo Road (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fires of Edo (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Shinobi Mystery series is a wonderful book series written in the historical fiction, history, and fiction genres. This series is penned by a renowned author, who goes by the name of Susan Spann. Altogether, there are 6 books in this series, which were released between the years 2013 and 2017. The novels’ plots are mostly set in Japan during the 16th century, and describe the chief characters in the role of Hiro Hattori and Father Mateo. These characters are supported by various other secondary characters from time to time as the series progresses further. Mataeo and Hiro Hattori use ancient ninja techniques to murder cases and other mysteries taking place around them. Hiro Hattori is the master ninja, while Father Mateo is a Jesuit priest whim Hiro has sworn to protect.

The character of Hiro Hattori is introduced in the series for the first time as investigating about the murder of a samurai. Hiro Hattori learns that the samurai was brutally killed in a teahouse in Kyoto. Also, he comes to know that he has just 3 days in his hand to solve the crime and unravel the real killer before the situation goes out of hand. The prime suspect in the murder of the samurai is a beautiful geisha, and if Hiro Hattori is not able to reveal the real killer before the deadline of three days, the son of the samurai is going to kill the geisha in vengeance.

Also, the life of Father Mateo hangs in the balance as the vengeful son of the dead man has sworn to kill him too thinking that he has a connection with his father’s murder. Hiro Hattori cannot let this happen at any cost. So, he joins Father Mateo and together they plunge into the floating world’s dangerous waters in Kyoto for the investigation of the samurai’s murder. During the investigation, Mateo & Hiro Hattori learn that many people have the motive of keeping the death of the samurai a mystery. And this makes both of them add a number of persons in the suspects’ list, including the dead samurai’s own brother and a teahouse owner. As the series progresses further, the characters of Hatori and Father Mateo also show developments, which attracted many readers from all across the globe.

An interesting book written by author Susan Spann in the Shinobi Mystery series is entitled ‘Blade of the Samurai’. This book was released by the Minotaur publishers in the year 2014. Author Spann has set the story at the time of the year 1565 in Kyoto, and has mentioned the lead characters in the roles of Hiro Hattori, Kazu, Saburo, Father Mateo, Lord Oda, etc. At the start of the book’s story, Hiro Hattori is introduced as a Master Ninja. One early morning, he receives an uninvited guest named Kazu, who looks very worried. Kazu is also a shinoi like Hiro and works undercover for the shogunate. Kazu informs Hiro Hattori that a few hours before the cousin of the shogun, Saburo, was murdered in the palace shogun and that he is now seen as the prime suspect because his personal dagger was used to murder Saburo. Kazu pleads that he is innocent and has been framed by someone.

He begs Hiro Hattori to help him come out of this difficult situation. Hattori doesn’t completely believe the story told by Kazu and therefore, he doubts Kazu’s claims. Later, Father Mateo and Hattori are summoned by the shogun to investigate the murder and find out the killer.

This puts Hiro in a dilemma as he is forced to choose between personal honor and friendship. Hattori’s investigation of the killing reveals a deadly plot for assassinating the shogum and overthrowing the Ashikaga clan’s ruling. The enemy forces of Lord Oda take the path of approaching Kyoto. Because of this approaching force, Hiro Hattori fears that another murder might take place. So, he decides to use all his skills as an assassin for revealing the identity of the real murderer and protecting shogun anyhow. On the other hand, Kazu finds himself trapped inside the city. He refuses to tell where he was at the time of Saburo’s murder.

Hiro comes to know that a maid in the palace, the wife of Saburo, and a stable master of shogun also had enough reasons to murder Saburo. And as the shogun demands that the murderer be found before the city is raided by Lord Oda, Hiro Mataeo set themselves on the target of producing the killer before the shogun.

Another mind blowing novel of this series is called ‘Flask of the Drunken Master’. It was also published by Minotaur Books in 2015. The important characters of this book include Father Mateo, Ginjiro, Hiro Hattori, etc. Once again, the story was set in the 16th century Japan and tells an exciting tale of mystery and suspense. At the beginning of the story of the book, it is depicted that Father Mateo and master ninja Hattori get pulled into another murder investigation.

They learn about the discovery of the dead body of an artisan just outside the sake brewery of their close friend named Ginjiro. Both are well aware that Ginjiro can never commit a murder. So, they take it upon themselves to find out the one who killed the artisan before Ginjiro gets executed by the magistrate for a crime that he has not committed. If Ginjiro gets punished for this murder, then his brewery will get seized and his family will be rendered destitute. Hattori cannot let this happen to his friend.

It seems that in the wake of the recent death of shogun, the like of Ginjiro is not just the only one at risk. The tensions continue to rise in Kyoto, during which Hiro Hattori tries to find out information about a moneylender, a disappeared merchant, a deadly debt collector, and the spendthrift son of the victim. Later, Hiro meets a drunk Buddhist monk, who insists that he can help him solve the murder case. But, Hattori fears that the bumbling of the monk might end up foiling the whole investigation. As the time appears to be running out at a high pace, Hiro takes the risk of gambling on one of the clandestine missions to unravel the truth. But, it turns out that there are others with secret missions to fulfill and they can go at any lengths to prevent themselves from getting caught. This book seems sure to please the young and old readers alike.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Shinobi Mystery

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