I know that my granddaughter, Ellie, thinks that I’m a bit oblivious to what her mother, my daughter-in-law, thinks of me, but I’m not. I’m a crazy hakujin – that’s basically gringa in Japanese – who’s impetuous and man crazy. Well, I guess the latter is not that off-base.
I haven’t had a steady man in my life since my son, Gary, was born. And he’s now in his fifties. I’ve devoted my life to teaching high school Spanish and raising my boy on my own. Now is definitely my time to have fun.
Gary and his family, though, are my anchors. I worry the most about Ellie. She’s only twenty-three and smart as a whip. She graduated from college in three years, majoring in, yes, Spanish! (Her tiger mother, Caroline, wasn’t happy with the major.) Instead of being a teacher or diplomat, Ellie’s joined the Los Angeles Police Department, like her Aunt Cheryl. Instead of a squad car, she patrols downtown Los Angeles on a bicycle.
To be honest, I don’t trust Cheryl Toma. You might have heard of her; she’s an assistant chief of the department. She never seems real, you know. Always seems to spout out the party line. I don’t mention this to Gary, of course. I always try to keep things light and focused on my favorite subject, ME!
Earlier this year, Ellie was involved in a murder case. Her college classmate was found dead on Bamboo Lane in Chinatown. Now, her 1969 Buick Skylark, my legacy gift to her has been stolen right from her own driveway in Los Angeles. And then there’s this business with a gardener being pushed down the stairs of a downtown concert hall by the father of a celebrated Chinese cellist. Who was there at the crime scene? Ellie, of course.
I’m worried more than ever. I don’t want anything bad to happen to my little granddaughter. In the back of my mind, I can’t help but think . . . what kind of trouble will visit her now? And have I in some way contributed to it?
Find out more about Lita and the Rush family in the second Officer Ellie Rush mystery, Grave on Grand Avenue, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Murder on Bamboo Lane.
About Grave on Grand Avenue
While patrolling one of LA’s premier concert halls, Ellie stops for a chat with a gardener—and is shocked to discover him minutes later, clinging to life at the bottom of a staircase. The claim is that he was knocked down while attempting to steal a multi-million dollar cello, but Ellie has trouble believing that.
Ellie has issues of her own to deal with—like the curious theft of her car—but after the gardener takes his last breath and the cellist mysteriously disappears, it’s clear that she must act quickly before someone else falls silent. . .
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About the author
Naomi Hirahara is an award winning writer of two mystery series. The third in her Mas Arai series, Snakeskin Shamisen, won an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. The first in the Officer Ellie Rush series, Murder On Bamboo Lane, received the 2014 T. Jefferson Parker mystery award from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. She also writes short stories and books for middle-grade readers. 1001 CRANES was recognized with honorable mention in Youth Literature by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. For more information, go to her website, www.naomihirahara.com. You can also contact via Facebook and Twitter (@gasagasagirl).