Trial on Mount Koya Blog Tour and Review
Trial on Mount Koya by Susan Spann
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Seventh Street Books
Paperback & eBook; 256 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Hiro Hattori, Book #6
November, 1565: Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo travel to a Buddhist temple at the summit of Mount Koya, carrying a secret message for an Iga spy posing as a priest on the sacred mountain. When a snowstorm strikes the peak, a killer begins murdering the temple's priests and posing them as Buddhist judges of the afterlife--the Kings of Hell. Hiro and Father Mateo must unravel the mystery before the remaining priests--including Father Mateo--become unwilling members of the killer's grisly council of the dead.
Praise for Trial on Mount Koya“A page-turning and atmospheric historical mystery that beautifully melds fascinating Japanese history with a cleverly constructed mystery reminiscent of And Then There Were None—if the famous Agatha Christie mystery had been set in medieval Japan on a sacred mountaintop during a snowstorm.” —Gigi Pandian, USA Today–bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries
“Susan Spann is up front in saying that Trial on Mount Koya is an homage to Agatha Christie. Believe me, she does the great Dame Agatha proud. This excellent entry in Spann’s series of Hiro Hattori mysteries offers plenty of esoteric clues and red herrings that are fun to chase. Along the way, she even does Christie one better, giving readers a fascinating glimpse of life and religion in feudal Japan. This is a book sure to please Spann’s growing legion of fans as well as anyone who loves the work of Agatha Christie.” —William Kent Krueger, Edgar® Award–winning author of Sulfur Springs
This is the second of Susan Spann's Hiro Hattori Novels that I have read. I think this one, Trial on Mount Koya, is my favorite so far - mostly because it reminds me of an Agatha Christie mystery in some ways. I love the main characters Hiro and Father Mateo - they make a great duo. I also love that the reader can jump into any of the mysteries without feeling like they are completely lost. Its been a long while since I read the third book, Flask of the Drunken Master, and I felt like I still knew the characters enough to enjoy the book. At the same time, I very much want to go back and read the other books in the series.
Hiro and Father Mateo are sheltering from a storm in a mountaintop temple while delivering a secret message to a spy - and that's not even the most interesting thing that happens. That's just what gets them to the mountaintop. Once there, a storm traps them and several other people in the temple. When people start getting murdered in strange and ritualistic ways, things get really interesting. Who is doing this and why? There are many suspects, lots of red herrings and tons of fun for mystery lovers.
Trial on Mount Koya was a fun, easy read - the kind of mystery where I couldn't put the book down because I was just so interested in what was happening, the people and their background stories and the whole location of the novel. While the novel kept my attention and was a real page-turner, I wasn't anxious while reading it at all - Hiro and Father Mateo have my full trust that they will survive and solve pretty much any mystery or crime thrown at them.
This is definitely a novel I would happily recommend to anyone who enjoys a good mystery - especially anyone who likes historical novels and/or books that take place in Japan.
About the Author
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 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 lives in Sacramento with her husband and two cats, and travels to Japan on a regular basis.
For more information, please visit Susan Spann's website. You can find Susan on Facebook and Twitter (@SusanSpann), where she founded the #PubLaw hashtag to provide legal and business information for writers.
Blog Tour ScheduleTuesday, July 3
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 4
Interview at Donna's Book Blog
Thursday, July 5
Interview at T's Stuff
Feature at The Bookworm
Friday, July 6
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather
Sunday, July 8
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings
Tuesday, July 10
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Wednesday, July 11
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, July 12
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, July 13
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, July 16
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Tuesday, July 17
Guest Post at Writing the Renaissance
Wednesday, July 18
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Friday, July 20
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Saturday, July 21
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Tuesday, July 24
Feature at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Thursday, July 26
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Friday, July 27
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
Monday, July 30
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, August 1
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, August 2
Review at A Book Geek
Friday, August 3
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Sunday, August 5
Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, August 6
Review at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 8
Review at Reading the Past
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 copies of Trial on Mount Koya! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Trial on Mount Koya