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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hiro and Mateo begin Their Murder Solving Series in Japan

Claws of the Cat (Shinobi Mystery, #1)Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having won the second installment of this series from Goodreads, read and reviewed it, I decided to buy the first book in the series. I have not been disappointed. In this episode, a rich, older samurai has been killed in the room of one of the entertainers, a recent convert to Catholicism. Father Mateo is determined to find the murderer, not believing as the dead man's son and policeman does, that the young girl has committed the crime. He convinces the policeman to give him two days in which to prove her innocence, much to the dismay of his appointed protector, Hiro ( love the name of the Japanese hero!). Thus begins a convoluted who dunnit, which took me one day to read.

In addition to the fun of following the clues or lack of them along with Mateo, Hiro is the enjoyment of the character of their no nonsense housekeeper, Ana and their less than impeccable housemate, Luis, a Portuguese trader. Ms Spann reveals much of Japanese culture and behavior through the hapless etiquette errors made by the Portuguese priest and the frustration of his Japanese scribe, Hiro, with these errors. In addition, through description and dialogue she reveals even more of differences between her European characters and the natives with whom they come in contact through the course of the investigation. This juxtaposition of East and West make what could be a simple cozy mystery far more interesting.

I look forward to the third installment of the adventures of Hiro, Mateo, et al or as Ms Spann calls them, the Shinobi ( Hiro is actually an undercover member of this society of assassins ) Mysteries.

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