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Authors: Naomi Hirahara

Grave on Grand Avenue

BOOK: Grave on Grand Avenue
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PRAISE FOR

MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE

Winner of the T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award

“A heartfelt new crime novel with a likeable heroine and a unique, street-level view of Los Angeles. In a genre inundated with angst-ridden cops and eccentric geniuses, LAPD bicycle patrol officer Ellie Rush is a refreshing change—one of the warmest, most realistic characters to hit crime fiction in a long time. Hirahara’s affection for Los Angeles, and for the intricate, multicultural mix of people who inhabit it, comes through on every page.”

—Lee Goldberg,
New York Times
bestselling coauthor of
The Chase

“Officer Ellie Rush is smart, funny, observant, a good friend, a dutiful relative, and a compelling character whom you want to get to know better.
Murder on Bamboo Lane
delivers seamless writing, interesting characters, the right touch of romance, social commentary . . . the list goes on.”

—Sheila Connolly,
New York Times
bestselling author of the County Cork Mysteries

“[A] fresh, funny, and fascinating mystery. Young bicycle cop Ellie Rush might be the opposite of hardboiled, but she’s courageous, clever, and can wind her way through the backstreets of LA to the best ramen shops. The most original mystery I’ve encountered in many years—
kampai
to Naomi Hirahara for a terrific new series.”

—Sujata Massey, author of
The Sleeping Dictionary
and the Rei Shimura Mysteries

“A great series opener! Ellie Rush, a Japanese American LAPD rookie, is smart and tough as she investigates a Chinatown murder. Edgar® Award–winning author Naomi Hirahara paints a mesmerizing portrait of the Los Angeles she knows so well, a city where being Asian American evokes a long history of racism and violence. If you liked her Mas Arai series, you will LOVE this!”

—Henry Chang, author of
Death Money

“A fast-paced, adventurous mystery about the filth of the world and the youthful heartbreak that accompanies its discovery . . . [Ellie’s] journey is as fun as it is tragic, a photorealistic representation of early adulthood, when romantic folly muddies all waters, and all sins—perhaps murder most of all—are immediately personal.”

—Steph Cha, author of
Beware Beware

“What a debut! Naomi Hirahara’s new series, featuring LAPD rookie Ellie Rush, is a total home run, a crackling mystery featuring a character who has strength, brains, and yards and yards of heart. I love this book!”

—Timothy Hallinan, Edgar®-nominated author of the Poke Rafferty and Junior Bender mysteries

“Insightful into the twists and turns of the human psyche and the enclaves of the vast Southland . . . Hirahara delivers the goods in this first of what one hopes will be many mysteries involving bicycle officer Ellie Rush.”

—Gary Phillips, author of
Warlord of Willow Ridge

“Hirahara takes us inside two cultures closed to most of us: the Japanese American family and the LAPD. What I love about this book is the complete lack of sappy sentimentality about the one or hero worship about the other. From the first page, Ellie Rush and her world seemed real to me and I was glad for every moment I spent there.”

—SJ Rozan, author (as Sam Cabot) of
Skin of the Wolf

“The ingenious idea behind Naomi Hirahara’s new novel—bike cop as sleuth—allows her to navigate LA’s mean streets in a whole new way and plunges us viscerally into the city’s colorful neighborhoods . . .
Murder on Bamboo Lane
brims with authenticity about city politics, ethnic identity, police banter, and family dynamics . . . Ellie Rush is a wonderful new protagonist, the plot is gripping, and the book is a winner.”

—Denise Hamilton, author of
Damage Control
and editor of the Edgar® Award–winning anthology
Los Angeles Noir

“Highly entertaining . . . Readers will want to see more of Ellie, who provides a fresh perspective on LA’s rich ethnic mix.”


Publishers Weekly

“Hirahara’s well-written mystery evokes a light and breezy style, making it a quick and enjoyable read despite the dark subject matter of murder. 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.”


RT Book Reviews

“A well-constructed whodunit . . . introduces an appealing and original heroine who guides readers to the rich ethnic mix of contemporary Los Angeles.”


The Japan Times

“Naomi Hirahara has hit a home run with this new mystery . . . would make for a unique, fun TV cop series! . . . [Hirahara] has an extensive, deep knowledge of Little Tokyo and the greater Los Angeles area, and she engages the reader as Officer Rush covers this multiracial city with an upbeat tempo and easy familiarity.”


Cultural News

“Scoop this one up! . . . 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.”


Library Journal

“Features insightful exploration of Los Angeles’s Japanese American community and stars a perpetually underestimated protagonist . . . Ellie’s youthful perspective and two-wheeled perch are delightfully unique, sure to draw a wide range of readers, from young adults to seasoned police-procedural fans.”


Booklist

“Naomi Hirahara affords a fresh perspective of LA’s rich multiethnic residents in
Murder on Bamboo Lane
. As the first in a new series featuring Officer Ellie Rush, the uniqueness of the cast of characters and the insightful plot premise hold great promise for future novels.”


Fresh Fiction

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Naomi Hirahara

MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE

GRAVE ON GRAND AVENUE

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

GRAVE ON GRAND AVENUE

A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2015 by Naomi Hirahara.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

an imprint of Penguin Random House,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-60946-0

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / April 2015

Cover illustration by Dominick Finelle (The July Group).

Cover design by Jason Gill.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

To Denise Blanco,
who always was at least a chair ahead

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This book is completely fictional, but research led me to fall in love with the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I feel so lucky to be so close to this Los Angeles treasure. Thanks to the usual suspects, including Wes, but mostly to my agent, Allison Cohen, and my editor, Shannon Jamieson Vazquez, whose blue and green editing bubbles showed me where Ellie was going astray. And also to Chiwan Choi, the great conspirator of Writ Large Press and all things literary in downtown Los Angeles.

I know who I am and who I may be if I choose.
—Miguel de Cervantes,
Don Quixote
grave (It.) (grä-vĕ.) . . . a deep low pitch in the scale of sounds . . .

Elson’s Music Dictionary
(1905)

CONTENTS

Praise for
Murder on Bamboo Lane

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Naomi Hirahara

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Epigraph

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

ONE

The Green Mile is gone. Not everyone will be bummed about it. After all, it’s a green boat-sized 1969 Buick Skylark, no air bags and only twelve miles to a gallon. My best friend, Nay Pram, calls it sick, but not the good kind of sick. She means puke, or at least its color. But I’m devastated. There is something about that car I love. The Green Mile makes a statement. A statement that I’m not your average LA girl. Or your average cop.

BOOK: Grave on Grand Avenue
5.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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