Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ninja's Daughter (Shinobi Mystery, #4)” as Want to Read:
The Ninja's Daughter (Shinobi Mystery, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ninja's Daughter

(Shinobi Mystery #4)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  65 reviews
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 warlords threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace--but Hiro
Paperback, 230 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Seventh Street Books (first published July 19th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ninja's Daughter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
George I assume you've already decided, but for anyone else wondering:

They do progress in a larger arc, but Spann avoids spoilers, and does not require knowl…more
I assume you've already decided, but for anyone else wondering:

They do progress in a larger arc, but Spann avoids spoilers, and does not require knowledge of earlier releases to make sense of the current one.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  231 ratings  ·  65 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ninja's Daughter (Shinobi Mystery, #4)
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

The world portrayed within the pages of Susan Spann’s Shinobi Mysteries is endlessly fascinating. Not just because it is the past, but because it is set in the history of an area that those of us in the West do not know well. In this setting, we are even more fishes out of water than Father Mateo, one of the author’s two protagonists.

This series takes place in Feudal Japan, not long before the time period of James Clavell’s famous novel (and TV miniseries)
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

The Ninja’s Daughter
A Shinobi Mystery, Book #4
By Susan Spann
Author’s website:
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


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 warlords threaten war, the
Aug 18, 2016 rated it liked it
The Ninja’s Daughter was a real treat to read. I don’t think I have read a story that takes place in Japan during the 16th Century before. The culture, social norms, customs, class distinctions during that period are really fascinating and Spann really shows that in this story. Not only that but the political and social conflicts were interesting as well.

Spann does a great job in keeping her readers engaged with the story and the mystery of who killed Emi. The Kyoto police do not feel that her
Heather Webb
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've never been much of a Japanophile, but Spann's novels have continued to not only entrench me in the world of ninjas and samurai, tea houses and opium dens, and the fascinating political intrigue of 16th century Japan, but she has left me with a newfound yearning to visit this beautiful country. In reading THE NINJA'S DAUGHTER, I was once again rapt by a facet of Japanese culture--Noh theater. Add extra-juicy fighting scenes and some entertaining verbal sparring between priest and ninja, and ...more
Lelia Taylor
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: full-reviews
Each time I read a new book in Susan Spann’s series featuring a pair of most unusual private investigators, I find more to like and that’s the case this time, too. Father Mateo and Hiro Hattori have completely solidified their status among my very favorite sleuths. A more likeable and appealing duo would be hard to find.

Also, once again, Ms. Spann has broadened my knowledge of the culture and mores of 16th-century Japan, most especially in the way class distinctions were viewed. I doubt that tod
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ninja’s Daughter is the fourth book in the Shinobi Mystery series and it is a reunion with the regular cast and some of my favourite background characters, such as Ana, Gato, Ginjiro, and Suke. I really enjoyed the previous two books I’ve read in this series, Blade of the Samurai and Flask of the Drunken Master , and I was looking forward to discover what would happen next for Hiro and his charge Father Mateo. What I found in The Ninja’s Daughter was both an interesting murder mystery ...more
Reader's Hollow
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
**We received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The whole mystery of the death was almost a parting gift when it came to the new direction that the characters were about to take. I felt the killer to be more obvious this round but, it wasn't exactly the murder I was interested in.

Revisiting Hiro and Father Mateo was a delight. Their comfort with each other and how they play off one another is still fantastic. They are a curious duo and with some of the colourful side characte
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
See my other reviews at Never Enough Books

It is autumn in Kyoto in the year 1565. When a young woman is found murdered on the shores of the Kamo River, the local police aren’t interested in investigating. The girl is an actor’s daughter, one of the many of low social status in the city.

Master Ninja Hiro Hattori learns the girl is the daughter of a fellow ninja and feels obligated to avenge her. He enlists his friend and charge, a Portuguese Jesuit named Father Mateo, and the two soon find themse
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-tours, 2016
Actual 3.5 Review written for TLC Book Tours
Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of the book for my honest opinion.

The Ninja's Daughter by Susan Spann is the latest novel in the Hiro Hattori detective mystery series set during 16th century Japan. Having not read any of the other books in the series, I don't think this detracted any from my enjoyment or understanding of the characters or their history together, as Susan supplies the pertinent information without going overboard to understan
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Before I sat down to start this review, I went back and reread my review for the second book in this series, Blade of the Samurai. I could cheat, copy and paste that review here, with maybe a few edits, and call it a day. For the most part, it would be an honest review of this book, but blogger ethics are kicking in. I figure I better get to writing a fresh review to convince you that no matter what, this is a book, and a series, worth reading.

I should start with the similarities, just to get th
Terry Ambrose
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The Ninja's Daughter" is Susan Spann's fourth Shinobi Mystery. The series gives readers insight into a society that is long gone. A fascinating read, "The Ninja's Daughter" is filled with lies, deceit, and the inherent unfairness of a class society. Spann portrays well a society in which only some murders are considered worthy of investigation.
HIro and Jesuit Father Mateo are dogged pursuers who must unravel a puzzle that will keep readers guessing until the end. Interactions between the two ma
So happy to have won a copy of this newest Shinobi mystery as a GR giveaway and it didn't disappoint. I love how each book in this series introduces us to a different aspect of 16thc Japanese culture. We also continue to learn more of the background of Hiro and Father Matteo. Coming to know the characters is, for me, more important to my enjoyment of a series than the mystery aspect.
It appears the author has found a new publisher. Let's hope this series continues! I so look forward to a new and
Heather Fineisen
Fans of historical fiction and mysteries will be drawn to the Hiro Hattori Novels. Spann captures the essence of 1565 Kyoto through the characters of a master ninja and a Portuguese Jesuit Priest. I haven’t read the previous three novels and was able to follow along easily. I will be reading the other books in the series. Although I guessed the murderer in this one, Spann deftly lays out the suspects and the case for each being the culprit and the reader is right along with the investigation. Th ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is another excellent, atmospheric mystery novel with enough twists and turns and suspense to kept me very interested. The characters are realistic, individualistic, and very likeable and I look forward to reading more about them in future mysteries by the author.

My full review:
Brin Murray
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it

This is an entry into increasingly common genre of historical crime fiction, whereby the author takes a certain period in history and then works on a mystery plot, usually involving solving a murder in the traditional way.
I’ve always thought this was rather a daft way to set about reading/finding out more about a particular period in history: if you want to know, why not simply read about Japan in the 16th century? Silly me: for the obvious reason, that it’s much more fun to read a story, and if
Rusty Dalferes
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I continue to love this series. Spann has a knack for creatively presenting a murder mystery, with a cast of characters full enough of possible suspects -- some who elicit the reader's sympathy, some who are immediate antagonists, some who are even familiar (or familial) -- that until the final exposition, the murderer could have been any of them, yet the explanation doesn't rely on off-page deductions or last-minute information of which the reader was not previously aware.

The cast increases in
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first Shinobi mystery which turned out to be #5 in a series. The mystery set in 16th century Japan, has at its core a relationship between a Shinobi and a Jesuit priest from Portugal. The Shinobi has been hired, by an unknown benefactor, to protect the life of the priest with his own. I so enjoyed this fifth novel that I decided to begin with book one. Having long been fascinated with Asian Art, culture and customs, this series has been enlightening. It captures the juxtaposition of f ...more
Stephanie Torres
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I love this.
That's all I can really say about this book.
It had everything that I was looking for; mystery, political intrigue, sword fighting, secrets, ninjas, and above all set in JAPAN. DURING THE SENGOKU PERIOD.
What else can I say?
It was beautiful and I loved every word, I adored the characters: Hiro and Father Mateo are such great pairs and I loved their friendship. As this is the 4th in the series (I had no idea), I'm looking forward to reading the next and am most definitely checking out
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Set in 16th century Japan, Portuguese Jesuit Father Matteo and his (covert ninja) translator Hiro Hattori come across a young murdered woman. Since she is the daughter of an actor, she is declared worthless and the duo are forbidden to investigate. The setting is well researched but a little tough to take. As in most feudal societies, the culture portrayed in the book is filled with injustice and casual cruelty. The plot is satisfyingly complex and Hiro an intriguing character.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Still loving the relationship between Father Mateo and the shinobi Hiro- their interactions highlight the differences in Japanese and European culture and manners. This time, the mystery itself fell a little short for me and the story itself seemed like it was there just to set up their exit from Kyoto. I will definitely be looking for #5 as I'm curious about Hiro's background at the shinobi school in Iga.
Brett Bydairk
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting plot developments this time around - political tensions rise with the recent death of the shogun, and rival factions threaten war. Father Mateo is ordered by his Church to leave Kyoto before opposing forces arrive to lay siege to the city. The daughter of an actor is murdered, and her father begs Hiro to find her murderer, since the samurai police have no interest in justice for commoners.
The characters are engaging, and the plot moves right along, with a couple of nice twists.
Paula Montgomery
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in Japan, Hiro Hattori guards the Jesuit priest while also solving crimes. The book has special glossary in the back for terms used. This is a great way to learn about customs in other places. In this volume, Hiro figures out the culprit who has murdered a young girl who is part of an actor troupe. The setting in 1565 in Kyoto amidst the threat of war.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent as always!

Very enjoyable, as are all of the others I’ve read. The author had me biting my lip in nervousness to find out if everything would turn out alright. Looking forward to the next one!
Deana Fagan
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating story that gives examples of the very rigid social classes in 16th century Japan as well as providing a good mystery. You learn more about Hiro and the conflicts his training and his growing attachments are bringing to his life.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
as usual, a good read in this series.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japoneze, fiction
Even better than the previous books in the series. Best series of detective mysteries set in historical settings I've ever read, and I've read quite a few.
Simon Garnett
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book that gradually grows into itself with cast of fascinating characters.
Akasha Imane
I enjoyed it. Was able to finish it within a day and I actually enjoyed the ending waiting to read the next book
Mary Drayer
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I entered into book #4, some original facts were lost to the reader-I will go back and read 1-3 for details. Feudal Japan with a great storyline and characters. A quick read...
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Another murder in Kyoto for Hiro and Father Mateo to solve. A young girl strangled to death on the riverside, a young merchant's apprentice arriving at their door in the early morning hours sure that he has killed her in a drunken stupor and asking their help.

Susan Spann continues to bring medieval Japan to life, populating it with men and women of every rank and profession. Here we are introduced to a company of actors and so we learn of the tradition of noh theatre and those who perform it. A
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Massacre at Shirakawa: An Akitada Novel (Akitada Mysteries Book 20)
  • The Kindness of Dragons (Sugawara Akitada, #18)
  • The Hell Screen (Sugawara Akitada, #5)
  • The Island of the Gods (Sugawara Akitada, #16)
  • The Shrine Virgin (Sugawara Akitada, #14)
  • Island of Exiles (Sugawara Akitada, #4)
  • Baladitya And Yashodharma
  • A Stroke of Malice (Lady Darby Mystery, #8)
  • Who Speaks for the Damned (Sebastian St. Cyr, #15)
  • Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport #30)
  • The Betel Nut Tree Mystery (Crown Colony #2)
  • Rama's Ring
  • Maarthaanda Varma
  • The Old Men of Omi (Sugawara Akitada, #13)
  • Duty and Desire (Winds of Fire, #1)
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)
  • The Nuns of Nara: An Akitada Novel (Akitada mysteries Book 19)
See similar books…
Author of the Hiro Hattori Novels (Shinobi Mysteries), featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo.

CLAWS OF THE CAT (Minotaur Books, 2013)
Library Journal Mystery Debut of the Month
Silver Falchion Finalist: Best First Novel

BLADE OF THE SAMURAI (Minotaur Books, 2014)

FLASK OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER (Minotaur Books, July 2015)


Other books in the series

Shinobi Mystery (7 books)
  • Claws of the Cat (Shinobi Mystery, #1)
  • Blade of the Samurai (Shinobi Mystery, #2)
  • Flask of the Drunken Master (Shinobi Mystery, #3)
  • Betrayal at Iga (Shinobi Mystery #5)
  • Trial on Mount Koya (Shinobi Mystery #6)
  • Ghost of the Bamboo Road (Shinobi Mystery #7)

Related Articles

Let’s face it, 2020 is making us long for other timelines. Luckily, these 32 novels are ready to sweep you away to vastly different eras and...
165 likes · 139 comments