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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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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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 8

I know that my boyfriend, Cortez Williams, will say I’m crazy. But he’s in a medically induced coma at USC General Hospital and has no say.

My parents, especially my mother, will say I’m crazy. So would maybe my Grandma Toma. My grandmother, Lita, would instead be proud of me and say something like my gumption came from her side of the family. Let’s not mention anything about my grandfather, my father’s bio dad, who served time in prison. That’s just something that the Rush family doesn’t talk about around our dinner table ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 7

I press the buzzer by the door of a small brick building.

The door immediately opens, as if Father Kwame is expecting us. He greets my dog first. “Hello, Shippo,” he says, and Shippo wags his tail in response.

The priest ushers us into his corner office and excuses himself to make some tea.

Shippo makes himself at home on a throw rug while I sit underneath a floor lamp. There are books on the shelves lining the walls. They are not only in English, because Father Kwame is fluent in about six languages, and they are not only religious ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 6

I’ve only said I love you to two men—well, other than my dad and he doesn’t really count. One of them was my college boyfriend, Benjamin Choi, and the other one is Cortez Williams. Cortez is currently on an operating room table while I’m sitting like a fool on a plastic chair in a waiting room in USC General Hospital. Also in this windowless room is a family who seems spellbound by a daytime talk show broadcast on the television mounted on the wall. I want to shout at them, “Who are these women around the ...

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