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Hirahara Nominated for Anthony Award

Naomi Hirahara has received an Anthony Award nomination for Best Paperback Original for “Hiroshima Boy,” the last in her Mas Arai mystery series.

Also nominated were “Hollywood Ending” by Kellye Garrett, “If I Die Tonight” by Alison Gaylin, “Under a Dark Sky” by Lori Rader-Day, and “A Stone’s Throw” by James W. Ziskin.

The Anthony Awards are given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. This year’s convention will be held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Dallas.

The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from The San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America.

In “Hiroshima Boy,” L.A. gardener Mas Arai returns to Hiroshima to bring his best friend’s ashes to a relative on the tiny offshore island of Ino, only to become embroiled in the mysterious death of a teenage boy who was about the same age Mas was when he survived the atomic bomb in 1945. The boy’s death affects the elderly, often curmudgeonly, always reluctant sleuth, who cannot return home to Los Angeles until he finds a way to see justice served.

Mas Arai first appeared in “Summer of the Big Bachi” (2004), a finalist for the 2005 Macavity Award for Best First Novel. This was followed by “Gasa-Gasa Girl” (2005).

“Snakeskin Shamisen” (2006) won the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Paperback and was a finalist for the 2007 Anthony Award for Best Paperback. This was followed by “Blood Hina” (2010), “Strawberry Yellow” (2013), and “Sayonara Slam” (2016).

“Hiroshima Boy” (2018) was also a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Paperback.

Hirahara also created the Ellie Rush series, featuring a Japanese American rookie LAPD bicycle cop. It started with “Murder on Bamboo Lane” (2014), followed by “Grave on Grand Avenue” (2015).

Last year, Hirahara was inducted into the Walk of Fame at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena.

Her next novel, which will be released in the fall, is “Iced in Paradise: A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery.”

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