“Murder on Bamboo Lane,” the first in a new mystery series by Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara, will be released on April 1.
The book, which will be available in both mass market paperback and ebook formats from Penguin Berkley Prime Crime, follows the exploits of Officer Ellie Rush, a 23-year-old Hapa bicycle cop for the LAPD.
“I wrote this new series to present the real-world challenges of young people of color in an entertaining way,” said Hirahara, who also writes the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and Hiroshima survivor. “I also wanted to place downtown Los Angeles, my beloved city, on center stage.”
In “Murder on Bamboo Lane,” rookie cop Ellie gets involved in the investigation of the murder of a Vietnamese American college classmate, whose body is found on Bamboo Lane in Chinatown during the Lunar New Year weekend. Ellie’s aunt, Cheryl Toma, happens to be the highest-ranking Asian American officer within the LAPD, which both helps and challenges Ellie’s aspirations to someday become a homicide detective.
The trade reviews of the new book have been uniformly positive. Library Journal stated, “Hirahara’s new series debut strikes just the right tone, neatly tuned into the twentysomething set. Her multiethnic cast promises a fascinating future for a cozy series tangling with serious topics.”
Romantic Times, which give the book four stars, commented, “The author has also done a fantastic job of creating a main character who is both warm and realistic as she tackles a murder investigation close to her heart. This novel is a wonderful read.”
According to Publishers Weekly, “Readers will want to see more of Ellie, who provides a fresh perspective on L.A.’s rich ethnic mix.”
The book will be officially launched at Vroman’s, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, on Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m. Hirahara will also be in various other locales, including Orange, South Pasadena, Camarillo, San Diego, Huntington Beach, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. She will be signing at Mysterious Galaxy, 2810 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach, on Saturday, April 26, at 3 p.m. and the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, on Saturday, May 24, at 2 p.m.
The retail price of the mass market paperback and ebook is $7.99 each. For more information, go to the author’s website, www.naomihirahara.com.