Naomi Hirahara

Naomi 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, Officer Ellie Rush series, and now the new Leilani Santiago mysteries. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, she has written a number of nonfiction books on the Japanese American experience and several 12-part serials for Discover Nikkei.

Updated October 2019

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Ten—Honesty Is the Best Policy

>> Chapter nine

“You have to tell him,” says Ginnie, slurping the last bit of noodle in her large ceramic bowl. We are in Mr. Ramen on First Street in Little Tokyo. There’s a more popular ramen house a few storefronts away, but I opt for more quiet and privacy, especially since we are talking about my new relationship with my office landlord, Jake Martinez.

“That I lied about my ex-boyfriend when he had trust issues with his past girlfriend?” Sure doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

“Well, it’s not like you’re secretly seeing Rick ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Nine—Up in Space

>> Chapter eight

I don’t know why I set up my ex-boyfriend with the absolutely best catch in my fledgling dating service. As my best friend Ginny Lee always reminds me, I despise Rick; I have the deleted digital images in my trash folder to prove it (I know, they should be completely off of my computer after seven years). Meanwhile, Michele Sakanashi is gorgeous, has a high-paying job, and even her own duplex. She’s a kind of girl that women would, at first glance, love to hate but after five minutes with her, they’d be out buying ...

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Chapter Eight—Match Game

>> Chapter seven

“So who’s going to be matched with who?” Ginnie asks as she licks some green tea/blood orange yogurt from her lips.

We are sitting in a corner table at Céfiore yogurt shop in Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo. I’ve spread the profiles and photos of the 15 women who have applied to my matchmaking service, Baishakunin, Inc. I know that working on a plastic table in a frozen yogurt shop is not that professional, but I had to escape the confines of the office, especially after I told my staff and landlord that ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Seven—Who’s Ex?

>> Chapter six

“That guy is my best friend’s ex.” The lie about Laker2009, otherwise known as Rick Sleazeball Saiki, my former boyfriend, comes out so easily. He has just been in the office of my fledgling business, Baishakunin, Inc., a matchmaking service that is somehow supposed to keep my condo payments afloat. Only problem is, Rick is my first and only customer. Besides he has signed a contract in the presence of my public face, the elderly Oizumi-san, and my landlord, Jake. Oizumi-san makes most of her living cleaning houses and has excused herself for her next ...

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Baishakunin, Inc.

Chapter Six—Behind the Shoji Screen

>> Chapter five

I pull Jake, my landlord, behind the Japanese folded screen in the back of the offices of Baishakunin, Inc. “Ah, ah—” No words emerge as I gesture towards the voices in the reception area. What do you say when your ex-boyfriend is looking for love at your fledgling dating service?

“Are you choking on something?” Jake asks and I quickly put my hand on his mouth to muzzle him. His full lips feel pretty soft, but that’s not the point right now. What was the point was that Rick, or LakerFan2009, was being questioned on his love ...

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