…according to Her BFF, Nay Pram
Okay, Ellie’s the one who should be writing this, but she’s apparently way too busy at work, so I told her, “Don’t stress out, girl. I have your back.” She’s my BFF, after all, ever since we met at a class at Pan Pacific West College, just a little south of downtown L.A.
Downtown is actually where Ellie works – as an LAPD cop, like her aunt, Deputy Chief Cheryl Toma. Yah, that Cheryl Toma, the highest-ranking Asian American officer in the department. Pretty big shoes to fill. Ellie patrols on a bicycle; she’s one of those bike cops who gives out jaywalking tickets (damn her). Actually, I shouldn’t diss my girl, because she does a lot more than that. Counsels kids at risk who are truant. Makes sure homeless women are safe. And right now, well, it’s actually pretty intense and sad. One of our former classmates was found dead in an alley, Bamboo Lane, in Chinatown.
Ellie’s ex, Benjamin, doesn’t trust the cops. Neither does the other person in our Fearsome Foursome, Rickie, Mr. Primadonna. I’m actually a little worried, too, but I’d never let Ellie know. She’s got enough pressure. Her mom doesn’t get what she does and her younger brother, Noah, in high school is probably a few steps from being in jail himself.
I’m waiting for Ellie now at our regular hangout, Osaka’s ramen shop in Little Tokyo. It’s right here on First Street, a few blocks east of City Hall. Hey, if you have the time, why don’t you sit down and wait with me? We can order you some miso ramen and an iced coffee. When Ellie shows up, we can find out the latest about the murder. You might be able to see things clearer than we can. And at the very least, you’ll have chowed down on some mighty good ramen. Oh, and I wish I could pay, but I’m a little tapped out now. Sorry.
You can read more about Character in Murder on Bamboo Lane, the first book in the new “Officer Ellie Rush” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The second installment of the Officer Ellie Rush series will be published in April 2015.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on August 28 for the chance to win a copy of MURDER ON BAMBOO LANE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
About the author
Naomi Hirahara, born and raised in Southern California, is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Japanese American gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes (SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, GASA-GASA GIRL, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, BLOOD HINA, and STRAWBERRY YELLOW). She also has penned a middle-grade novel, 1001 CRANES, which was chosen as an Honor Book for the Youth Literature of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in 2009.
A former editor of the largest Japanese American newspaper in the U.S., she also has released a number of nonfiction works. A number of her short stories have been included in various anthologies, including LOS ANGELES NOIR.