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 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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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 5

You can get the wrong idea from TV police shows. Officers discharge their weapons multiple times in every episode, when the truth is, most of us never fire our guns in the line of duty, even in a big city like Los Angeles. And for homicide detectives like my boyfriend, Cortez Williams, and especially bicycle cops like me, our guns will only get action at the firing range.

So to hear that an officer is down, only a few blocks from where we are in Pershing Square, is a big deal. My partner, Johnny Mayhew, is a champion BMX rider ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 4

It’s past midnight and someone’s turning the key to my double-lock on my front door. I know who it is and even Shippo doesn’t bother to get out of his doggy bed.

Some women wouldn’t like it if their boyfriends smelled better than them. I’ve never worn perfume and sometimes even the scented pages of fashion magazines cause me to dissolve into a spasm of sneezes. Cortez Williams lays it on thick with ample splashes of cologne on his freshly shaven jaw. By midnight, his afternoon shadow is back and the cologne lingers, but it ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 3

My cheeks are still a bit flushed from the beer from the Far Bar, but I make sure that I’m fully sober before getting on my bicycle. I’m Hapa and have inherited the Asian flush from my mother’s side. California Vehicle Code Section 21200.5 pretty much says that you can get a citation for riding a bike under the influence. And since a bike is essentially my work wheels, I have to make sure that I don’t end up like my arch enemy Officer Mac Lambert, who had one too many drinks in a Frogtown ...

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Trouble on Temple Street: An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery

Chapter 2

“You’ll have to leave the premises,” I tell my best friend Nay Pram as I direct people away from the dead body covered in a furry blue costume. My voice goes into law enforcement mode, and she’s not having it.

She flashes her press pass at me.

I squint. “You’re not 120 pounds.” And she has never been, as long as I have known her.

“This is what I get for bringing your stuff over from Osaka’s?” She hands me my backpack. I grunt my thanks while taking out my now slightly wrinkled LAPD shirt and ...

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