Spann applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Blade of the Samurai, and reported the following:
Page 69 drops into a conversation between my ninja detective, Hiro Hattori, his Portuguese Jesuit sidekick, Father Mateo, and a Portuguese weapons merchant (Luis Alvares) whose sales finance Father Mateo’s missionary work in Japan.Visit Susan Spann's website.
The racist, self-important Luis alternates between a useful discussion and his usual litany of complaints about his samurai customers— in this case, the shogun’s ally Matsunaga Hisahide.
Hisahide needs the weapons to defend Kyoto against the approaching forces of a rival daimyo, Oda Nobunaga, who intends to seize the capital from the shogun. Hiro also believes Lord Oda’s men are behind the murder of the shogun’s cousin two days before, and the evidence suggests Hiro’s friend and fellow ninja, Ito Kazu, is involved in the plot.
Unbeknownst to Luis, Ito Kazu is hiding in Hiro’s clothing chest, hoping Hiro will help him prove his innocence … or at least escape the city before the shogun tracks him down.
The page contains the tension, verbal sparring, and hidden clues (here, literally, in the form of Kazu) which characterize the novel and the series. The page and chapter end (as many do) with a cliffhanger, which I hope keeps readers engaged and turning pages.
My Book, The Movie: Blade of the Samurai.
Writers Read: Susan Spann.