Asian American Mystery Writers to Speak at Crowell Public Library, LitFest


Naomi Hirahara, Steph Cha, George Fong

Naomi Hirahara, Steph Cha, George Fong

SAN MARINO — Crowell Public Library, 1890 Huntington Dr. in San Marino, will present three Asian American mystery writers on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m.

• Naomi Hirahara is an award-winning novelist and nonfiction writer. Her third Mas Arai mystery, “Snakeskin Shamisen,” won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original in 2007 and was translated into Japanese and Korean. Her first, “Summer of the Big Bachi,” will be published in France next August. Her new series with a young female bicycle cop, Ellie Rush, began with “Murder on Bamboo Lane,” which garnered the T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. The second Ellis Rush mystery is “Grave on Grand Avenue,” taking place at Disney Concert Hall. Her short stories have been included in “Los Angeles Noir” and the upcoming anthology “Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About Japan.” She was born in Pasadena and currently lives there, but she’s lived in few other places in between. She’s currently working on the sixth Mas Arai mystery, which will be published by Prospect Park Books in Altadena.

On the Web:

Steph Cha’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The L.A. Review of Books, and Trop Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she studied English and East Asian studies. She also graduated from Yale Law School and works as a temp attorney. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles with her husband Matt and her dog Duke. “Beware Beware” is her second novel.

On the Web:

• George Fong spent 27 years a special agent with the FBI, investigating all facets of violent crimes, including kidnapping, extortion, serial killings, crimes against children, bank robbery, drug trafficking, fugitives, and Asian gangs. He was a member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team and a certified undercover agent. He is now the director of security for ESPN. “Fragmented” is his first novel.

On the Web:

This event is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (626) 300-0777 or visit

Hirahara and Cha will also participate in LitFest, the Pasadena community’s free book festival, on Saturday, May 9, at 7:15 p.m. at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave.

The “Women of Mystery” panel will also feature Rachel Howzell Hall (“Skies of Ash”), Jo Perry (“Dead Is Better”) and moderator Desiree Zamorano (“The Amado Women”).

At Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. between El Molino and Oak Knoll avenues, “Ideograms: The Chinese Diaspora in California Writing” will be presented at 3 p.m. Featured speakers: Jason Chuan, Yunte Huang (“Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History”), Thomas Tseng (principal and co-founder of New American Dimensions), Paula Williams Madison (“Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem”), Elizabeth Wong (playwright, “The Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King”), and moderator Jinghuan Liu Tervalon.

At 5 p.m., Kogi BBQ truck king and Koreatown restaurateur Roy Choi, the hottest chef in town and author of the best-selling memoir “L.A. Son,” joins food and cultural critic extraordinaire Jonathan Gold to talk about the state of eating in Los Angeles right now.

For the full schedule, visit



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