Naomi Hirahara

Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes. Her new mystery series with a female hapa bicycle cop was launched in April 2014 with the publication of Murder on Bamboo Lane. The second in the series, Grave on Grand Avenue, is available now. She authored a 12-part serial for Discover Nikkei titled “The Nihongo Papers” and “Baishakunin, Inc.”

Updated June 2015

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Killer Roll

Chapter One — Henna Otoko

Yudai is gone tonight, so I’m in charge again. The third night in a row. I’m tired; I notice some dark circles around my eyes this morning and apply a heavier layer of Shiseido concealer. I try to pretend that it magically works to transform me into a young woman full of vitality, but I can’t get away from the stark truth that I’m a forty-two year old divorcée with a slightly crooked front tooth and wrinkles on her forehead from too much worrying.

“Your boyfriend was here again for lunch,” Som, our bus boy ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 12

He’s standing about a foot away from me. He holds his right hand behind his back. Could he have some sort of weapon?

My mind whirls. I don’t know how to play this. I decide to keep it casual, as if I don’t even suspect anything is askew. “Hi, Kyle. How have you been?”

“I heard that you were at the koban. Asking about me.” I try to create more space in between us, but Kyle’s not budging.

“Yeah, the LAPD is having a booth at Nisei Week, so I was wondering if maybe you can ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 11

“Grandma, let me see that log book.”

“Be careful; it’s old as dirt,” Grandma Toma cautions me as she hands over her father’s notebook that he kept while working as a policeman in Manzanar.

I sit down at her desk, crowded by Sudoku books, John Wooden biographies, and junk mail. Grandma Toma is a bit of a hoarder; it took us quite a while to empty out her house before she moved in. The only good thing about it today is that she’s kept my grandfather’s record of his connection to a military policeman named McDonnell ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 10

When Aunt Cheryl and I arrive on Cortez’s floor at USC L.A. General Hospital, I feel my heart both rising and sinking at the same time. Rising because Cortez has come out of his coma. Sinking because I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to see him.

Appearing from the side waiting room is Nay, and Aunt Cheryl immediately becomes frostier than even usual.

“Girl, it’s about time you showed up,” Nay says, giving my shoulders a squeeze. Aunt Cheryl, meanwhile, doesn’t bother to say hello to Nay and continues through the automatic doors ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 9

“What?” I say, my voice rising as the din at Bottega Louie gets louder with the “ladies who lunch” crowd.

“The cop was dirty,” Rowan James repeats, and I suppress the urge to sock his drunken face in the mouth. How can he say that about my boyfriend, who may be fighting for his life at USC General Hospital in Lincoln Heights?

“Cortez Williams is not dirty,” I exclaim.

“You know him?”

“You’re not worthy to shine his shoes.” I don’t know where that came from. Maybe I heard my Grandma Toma say that one time. I had ...

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