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Hirahara to Discuss and Sign ‘Hiroshima Boy’

PASADENA — The official launch of Naomi Hirahara’s “Hiroshima Boy” (Prospect Park Books), the final Mas Arai mystery, will be held on Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Vroman’s Books, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.

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 made his debut in “Summer of the Big Bachi” in 2004. He then appeared in “Gasa-Gasa Girl,” “Snakeskin Shamisen” (Edgar Award winner), “Blood Hina,” “Strawberry Yellow,” and “Sayonara Slam.”

“I’ve always admired Naomi Hirahara’s Mas Arai,” said Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. “A brilliant, unique addition to mystery fiction from the very beginning, his character has straddled time, place, and culture, with roots in one of the most terrible acts of violence war has ever inflicted upon humanity. And Mas has prevailed while growing older in a country that does not always value the wisdom of its elders, or those who work with their hands.

“This may be the last entry in the series (really?), but I am sure readers will come to love Mas for years to come ― he is one of a kind. ‘Hiroshima Boy’ is a wonderful finale to a fine mystery series. Kudos to Naomi Hirahara.”

Hirahara is also known for the Officer Ellie Rush mystery series as well as several non-fiction books about Japanese American history.

Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase at least one copy of the author’s most recent title from Vroman’s. For each purchased copy of the newest title, customers may bring up to three copies from home to be signed. This policy applies to all Vroman’s Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your Vroman’s receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.

For more information on the event, call (626) 449-5320 or visit For more information on the author, visit

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