The two main characters are Hiro, a shinobi (ninja) and Father Mateo, a Portuguese Jesuit priest. The mystery is excellent, with plenty of suspense and a lovely surprise ending. I guessed it -- and liked my guess so much that I didn't care whether I was right, because it would have made a good alternate solution. But as it happened, my guess was correct.
I loved reading about Japanese customs (particularly those relating to concepts of honor). The culture clashes between the shinobi and the priest were fun.
All in all, well worth the read. Fortunately, there are many more books in this series.
The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold is the most recent novella in the series about Penric the sorcerer and his resident demon, Desdemona.
It’s exciting and suspenseful, and the characters are brilliant, but what I like best about this series, as well as the other series in this world (Curse of Chalion, etc.) is the novel concept of religion (five gods, one of whom is the Bastard!) and the snippets of wisdom Bujold treats us to.
Start with the first book and read them all (and everything else Bujold has written).
A Lady in Need of an Heir is particularly interesting because it deals with an injustice faced by women of the time. When a woman married, everything she owned automatically belonged to her husband.
The heroine, Gabrielle Frost, owns a vineyard in Portugal dedicated to producing port. She cannot bear to put her beloved property into the hands of a man who might decide to sell it. Therefore, she doesn’t intend to marry—but she needs an heir.
How can she and the man she falls in love with, an English earl from Yorkshire, reach their HEA? It’s well worth reading this story to find out. :)
That's it for now!