A pandemic mystery in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

AN ETERNAL LEI : A Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i Mystery By Naomi Hirahara (Altadena, Calif.: Prospect Park Books, 2022, 200 pp., $17.99, paperback) When what at first appears to be a giant jellyfish floating off the coast turns out to be a lady, Dani screams out to her sister Sophie for help. They drag the limp […]

Nisei murder mystery enthralls readers

CLARK AND DIVISION  By Naomi Hirahara (Westminster, Md.: Soho Press, 2021, 312 pp., $27.95, hard cover)  From the first few pages of the new Naomi Hirahara historic mystery “Clark and Division,” I am immediately drawn into the story of the young Nisei woman, Aki Ito. The descriptive narrative with rich historic details and the strong […]

Evolving Force Ellie Rush a new mystery series

GRAVE ON GRAND AVENUE By Naomi Hirahara (New York: Penguin Group USA, 2015, 304 pp., $7.99, paperback) “Grave on Grand Avenue,” the much anticipated second book in the new Ellie Rush Mystery Series by Naomi Hirahara, provides intrigue, international inquiry, and family drama amid a dynamic and eclectic Los Angeles landscape. Determined and earnest LAPD […]

‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ skillfully explores wartime prejudice

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The Japanese American concentration camps of World War II provide a compelling backdrop for the excellent theatrical production of “Snow Falling on Cedars.” Based on David Guterson’s 1994 best-selling novel, the play offers a potent mix of romance and whodunit, as well as an exploration of the issue of prejudice against […]

BOOK REVIEW: Mystery novel unveils the power to change another’s life

The Devil’s Whisper By Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Stuhr Iwabuchi (Kondansha: New York, 2010, 264 pp., $11.95, paperback) Miyabe does it again — the elegantly crafted, more-than-just-mystery novel in “The Devil’s Whisper” keeps you hooked not just on the plot, but on the characters, their guilty consciences, and the moral quandaries and choices that bind […]