Pasadena author Naomi Hirahara was nominated for a 2019 Edgar® Award on January 22nd for her seventh and final of the Mas Arai mystery series, Hiroshima Boy, published by Prospect Park Books. Hirahara is not new to the Edgars, which are considered the Oscars of the mystery writing world—she won the Edgar for the third in the series, Snakeskin Shamisen, in 2007. The series has also been nominated for Macavity and Anthony awards. Naomi will fly to New York in late April for the black-tie awards banquet hosted by the Mystery Writers of America.
Hirahara was born in Altadena, attended high school in South Pasadena, and has lived in Pasadena for most of her adult life. The protagonist of her series, a Japanese-American gardener from Altadena named Mas Arai, was inspired by her father, who was also a gardener from Altadena. Like Mas, her father (and her mother) were survivors of the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, and in Hiroshima Boy, she sends the elderly Mas from Altadena back to Hiroshima, where he gets involved in a murder case.
Hirahara is also the author of the Ellie Rush mystery series (Berkley) and Life After Manzanar (Heyday Books). A graduate of Stanford University, she has also written extensively about gardening and Japanese-American history and culture, and has contributed to several anthologies and collaborative books, including Los Angeles Noir, Santa Cruz Noir, and Hometown Pasadena. Later in 2019, Prospect Park will publish the debut of a new mystery series from Hirahara, Iced in Paradise, set in Hawaii. Learn more about her at www.naomihirahara.com.
Prospect Park Books is an Altadena-based publisher focusing on fiction, mysteries, cookbooks, regional, and gift titles. Learn more at www.prospectparkbooks.com.