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Sisters in Crime Birthday Bash: L.A. Confidential with Naomi Hirahara and Rachel Howzell Hall

August 12, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

August 12th:  30th anniversary celebration for the National Sisters in Crime at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

Meeting will be extra special, with two speakers, Naomi Hirahara and Rachel Howzell Hall plus Ona Russell as our reader.

There will be cake!

San Diego Chapter’s Celebration of Sisters in Crime’s 30th Anniversary
August 12  at Mysterious Galaxy

Naomi Hirahara & Rachel Howzell Hall to headline

Come celebrate Sisters in Crime’s 30th Anniversary with Partners in Crime, the San Diego chapter of the national organization at Mysterious Galaxy on August 12.
To mark the year-long commemoration, Partners in Crime has organized a special Los Angeles-centric program called L.A. Confidential with two speakers and a reader, all with recently released L.A.-set crime novels.
Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai Japanese gardener and the L.A. bicycle cop Officer Ellie Rush mystery series, and Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the Detective Elouise Norton  crime series, will join us to talk about their recent works and their writing inspiration.  (Please see their bios below.)
August’s reader will be chapter member Ona Russell, who writes historical detective mysteries set in the 1920s inspired by the real-life figure Sarah Kaufman, her fictional sleuth’s namesake. She will read from her L.A.-themed novel Rule of Capture, winner of several awards. (Please see her bio below.)
All will have books available for purchase.
Our meeting will be held at Mysterious Galaxy, 5943 Balboa Avenue, #100, San Diego 92111, starting at the usual 3:30 p.m. with a social half hour, with the meeting running from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Naomi Hirahara was born in Pasadena, California. Her father, Isamu (known as “Sam”), was also born in California, but was taken to Hiroshima, Japan, as an infant. He was only miles away from the epicenter of the atomic-bombing in 1945, yet survived. Naomi’s mother, Mayumi, or “May,” was born in Hiroshima and lost her father in the blast. Shortly after the end of World War II, Sam returned to California and eventually established himself in the gardening and landscaping trade in the Los Angeles area. After Sam married May in Hiroshima in 1960, the couple made their new home in Altadena and then South Pasadena, where Naomi grew up.

Naomi received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University and studied at the Inter-University Center for Advanced Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo.
She was a reporter and editor of The Rafu Shimpo. During her tenure as editor, the newspaper published a highly-acclaimed inter-ethnic relations series after the L.A. riots. Naomi left the newspaper in 1996 to serve as a Milton Center Fellow in creative writing at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.
After returning to Southern California in 1997, she began to edit, publish, and write books. Summer of the Big Bachi (Bantam/Delta, March 30, 2004) is Naomi’s first mystery. The book, a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize, was also nominated for a Macavity mystery award.
Receiving a starred review from Publishers Weekly, Summer of the Big Bachi has been included in the trade magazine’s list of best books of 2004, as well as the best mystery list of the Chicago Tribune. Gasa-Gasa Girl, the second Mas Arai mystery, received a starred review from Booklist in 2005. Snakeskin Shamisen, the third in the series, was released in May 2006. In April 2007 it won an Edgar Allan Poe award in the category of Best Paperback Original. The fourth Mas Arai mystery, Blood Hina, was published in hardcover March 2010 by St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne Books. Trade paperback and new ebook version were released in 2013 by Prospect Park Books, the publisher of the fifth installment, Strawberry Yellow. The first book in Naomi’s new mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime featuring a 23-year-old LAPD bicycle cop, Murder on Bamboo Lane, was released in April 2014. The second installment, Grave on Grand Avenue, was published in April 2015.

Rachel Howzell Hall was born in Los Angeles, California fifteen days after Paul McCartney announced the split of the Beatles. As a child, she kept a pen in her hand, writing everywhere—in notebooks, on loose-leaf paper, in her big brother’s prep-school yearbook and on the back of church bulletins.
For four years, she lived in the forest at UC Santa Cruz. There, she received a degree in English and American Literature, and helped to charter the Pi Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated.
She left Santa Cruz in 1992 and returned to Los Angeles. Since then, she has worked a variety of jobs, including for incredible organizations like PEN Center USA West, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, City of Hope and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

In 2002, her debut novel, A Quiet Storm, was published by Scribner to great notice, including reviews from O Magazine and Publishers Weekly, with a starred review from Library Journal and also chosen as a “Rory’s Book Club” selection, the must-read book list for fictional television character Rory Gilmore of The Gilmore Girls. She also published two e-novels: The View from Here and No One Knows You’re Here. In 2014, the first novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series was published, the critically acclaimed Land of Shadows, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and included on LA Times’ ‘143 Books to Read This Summer’ and the UK Telegraph’s ‘Top Ten Crime Books for Summer.’ In 2015, she followed up with the second in the series, Skies of Ash. New York Times called Lou Norton “someone you want on your side.” Rachel was also a featured writer on NPR’s Crime in the City. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America, andhas participated as a mentor in the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Writer-to-Writer program.
The next novel in the Detective Elouise Norton series, Trail of Echoes, was published in May 2016.

Ona Russell is the author of three award-winning Sarah Kaufman historical mysteries, including The Natural Selection, a finalist in the 2009 California Book Awards, and Rule of Capture, winner of the 2015 IPPY silver medal for regional fiction and praised by LA Times as the “L.A. mystery of the summer.” Ona Russell holds a PhD in literature from UC San Diego where she also taught for many years. She has written and lectured nationally on the topic of “literature and the law” and has been published in a variety of other venues. She has two children, two grandchildren, two dogs but only one husband, with whom she lives in Solana Beach. She is also the niece of the late Louis I. Kahn, architect of San Diego’s own Salk Institute.


August 12, 2017
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Partners in Crime: The San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime


Mysterious Galaxy
5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100,
San Diego,CA92111United States
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