Murder on Bamboo Lane

( 11 )

Overview

Trouble awaits rookie LAPD Officer Ellie Rush as she patrols the mean streets of Los Angeles on her bicycle…

Bike cop Ellie Rush dreams of becoming a homicide detective, but it’s still a shock when the first dead body she encounters on the job is that of a former college classmate.

At the behest of her Aunt Cheryl, the highest-ranking Asian-American officer in the LAPD (a source of pride for Ellie’s grandmother, but annoyance to her mom), Ellie...

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Murder on Bamboo Lane

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Overview

Trouble awaits rookie LAPD Officer Ellie Rush as she patrols the mean streets of Los Angeles on her bicycle…

Bike cop Ellie Rush dreams of becoming a homicide detective, but it’s still a shock when the first dead body she encounters on the job is that of a former college classmate.

At the behest of her Aunt Cheryl, the highest-ranking Asian-American officer in the LAPD (a source of pride for Ellie’s grandmother, but annoyance to her mom), Ellie becomes tangled in the investigation of the coed’s murder—with equal parts help and hindrance from her nosy best friend, her over-involved ex-boyfriend, a smoldering detective, and seemingly everyone else in her extended family…only to uncover secrets that a killer may go to any lengths to ensure stay hidden.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/10/2014
Edgar-winner Hirahara, author of Summer of the Big Bachi and four other Mas Arai mysteries, introduces Ellie Rush, a Japanese-American rookie LAPD bicycle cop, in this highly entertaining series debut. When Jenny Nguyen, a former classmate of Ellie’s at Pan Pacific West College, goes missing and later turns up dead in a Chinatown alley, Ellie’s ties to PPW and Jenny’s friends, including Ellie’s ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Choi, prove useful. Jenny’s boyfriend, controversial artist Tuan Le, is a prime suspect, and he asks Ellie for help. Her aunt, Cheryl Toma, the highest-ranking Asian in the LAPD, also wants Ellie on the case, but has a hidden agenda. Ellie finds herself navigating a personal and professional minefield when she’s assigned to work on the case with handsome Det. Cortez Williams. Readers will want to see more of Ellie, who provides a fresh perspective on L.A.’s rich ethnic mix. Agent: Allison Cohen, Gersh Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Ellie is a detective of a different sort. Young and resolutely urban, she represents Los Angeles as it is, rather than as it was."—Los Angeles Times

”The most original mystery I’ve encountered in many years.”—Sujata Massey, author of the Rei Shimura mysteries

“One of the warmest, most realistic characters to hit crime fiction in a long time.”—Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Heist 

 
“Delivers seamless writing, interesting characters, the right touch of romance, social commentary…the list goes on.”—Sheila Connolly, New York

Times bestselling author of the County Cork Mysteries

“A great series opener! Ellie Rush...is smart and tough...Hirahara paints a mesmerizing portrait of the Los Angeles she knows so well.”—Henry Chang, author of Chinatown Beat

“A total home run, a crackling mystery.”—Timothy Hallinan, Edgar-nominated author of the Poke Rafferty and Junior Bender mysteries

Praise for the Mas Arai Mysteries

"A thoughtful and highly entertaining read."—Library Journal (Starred Review)

"This perfectly balanced gem deserves a wide readership."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 

Library Journal
04/01/2014
Young LAPD bicycle cop Ellie Rush (who is half-white, half-Japanese American) aspires to be a detective; her aunt Cheryl, who is assistant police chief, is her professional idol. When a former college acquaintance, Jenny Nguyen, is murdered—and Ellie is one of the officers who find her in an alley—she is assigned to help investigate. While blame initially falls on Tuan Le, Jenny's former boyfriend, other aspects of Jenny's life come to the fore. Jenny was devastated by her mother's untimely death back in Vietnam, plus she was angry about something related to her work for the U.S. Census Bureau. (Apparently, she had dug up suspicious facts about local councilmen.) Ellie makes mistakes that almost let a killer get away, but the key word here is "almost." VERDICT Scoop this one up! Known for her "Mas Arai" series (Summer of the Big Bachi), Hirahara's new series debut strikes just the right tone, neatly tuned into the twentysomething set. Her multiethnic cast promises a fascinating future for a cozy series tangling with serious topics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425264959
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Officer Ellie Rush Mystery Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 256,242
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar® Award-winning author of the Mas Arai Mysteries. Born and raised in Pasadena, 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 worked as a reporter and editor of The Rafu Shimpo in downtown Los Angeles. She is also the author of 1001 Cranes and has written, edited, and published several nonfiction books, largely about the Japanese American experience. She lives with her husband in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2014

    New Sleuth and Series Off to a Great Start Ellie Rush is a rook

    New Sleuth and Series Off to a Great Start

    Ellie Rush is a rookie in the LAPD's bicycle patrol based in the downtown area.  She's only been on the job for a few months, but she hopes to climb through the ranks quickly and become a full fledged detective.

    Her chance to prove herself comes sooner than she expected when she is asked to provide the preliminary identification for a former college classmate.  Jenny Nguyen and Ellie shared a class, but Ellie still feels a connection to her.  With the encouragement of her aunt Cheryl, the LAPD's assistant chief and the highest ranking Asian American woman, Ellie starts to turn up some clues.  But are they helpful or is she hurting her own career?

    I was full pulled into this book almost from the very beginning.  While the mystery takes a little while to full get moving, there are some interesting sub-plots that helped keep my interest.  These also helped flesh out the characters, who arrive fully alive.  That makes some of the twists more personal than they would have been in normal hands.

    The result is a deeper book than the light cozies I normally read.  I was blown away by the result and was sorry to see the book end.

    Ellie and her author have a new fan, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what happens to them next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Murder On Bamboo Lane is the first book in the An Officer Ellie

    Murder On Bamboo Lane is the first book in the An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery series.

    As I began this book, I had some reservation about it, but quickly got into the story and loved it.

    Ellie Rush is a 23 year old Japanese/American Bicycle Cop for the LAPD. Elli's role model for becoming a cop is her Aunt Cheryl, the second ranking person in the LAPD. She tries to keep the relationship quiet, so as not to get preferential treatment.

    Ellie is fresh out of the police academy and is assigned the Chinatown area of LA to patrol. While on patrol, one of the residents stops Ellie to complain about flyers that are posted all over. Upon looking closer at the flyer for a missing person, she realizes she knows the young lady, having been classmates in college. Then when a call comes in near where she is patrolling and stops by to see if it might be the missing girl. After convincing the officers that she may be able to identify the body and it is the missing Jenny. Jenny had been working for the Census bureau and had possibly been asking the wrong question of the wrong people in the tenements. Also, she had recently broken up with her boyfriend and that she was also being stalked by someone.
    When Aunt Cheryl suggests she help homicide with their investigation, she reluctantly agrees and soon finds herself in the middle of apparent corrupt political actions that could go all the way to the top people.

    This book turned to very interesting, insightful and suspenseful. The author provides the reader with an inside look at life in a urban area, but without preaching. And how far some might go to protect and enhance their political and law enforcement careers. The book has a wonderful cast of interesting and believable characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Naomi Hirahara begins a new series with her book, Murder on Bamb

    Naomi Hirahara begins a new series with her book, Murder on Bamboo Lane. Set against the urban background of Los Angeles' Chinatown, this is a mystery that will appeal to many different kinds of readers. With a lot of ethnic diversity and a protagonist that happens be a bicycle cop with the LAPD, how could readers go wrong? Hirahara is an Edgar Award winning author who knows how to set the tone and make readers believe in her characters. Ellie Rush may be one of her best yet.

    What I liked:

    Murder on Bamboo Lane is the first book I have read by this author and I will have to say that I was really surprised at the depth the author went to with mystery. Her voice is fresh and original to the genre. Hirahara has a knack for writing about a setting and about characters that the reader finds easy to relate to. She was able to create her own distinctive niche with this novel. It is unlike any other cozy I have ever read and that's saying something. I've read a bunch of them!

    Hirahara's setting was vibrant and colorful and let the reader in on the things that make Los Angeles and especially, Chinatown unique and different from other areas of the country. Hirahara weaves details about the city into the chapters of her story with ease, drawing the reader in and captivating them with her sense of community and place. The setting actual takes on the characteristics of a character, because it is so much a part of the fabric of the story. The author made me want to know more about LA and more about the rich diversity that is shown throughout this book.

    Ellie Rush is a young protagonist at 23 years. I think a lot of cozy readers fall into a range that is a bit older than that. So this could provide a new audience for the genre that may not have discovered cozies yet. Ellie is tenacious and determined. I can't imagine being a bicycle cop. It just seems so improbable, though I know they exist. But this book actually made me reevaluate how I looked at the LAPD in general and especially this particular part of their force and how instrumental and important they are in the grand scheme of things. I admired Ellie's desire to become a homicide detective and thought that this case being so close to home for her, was a brilliant idea. Hirahara made me want to know more about this young woman, from her desires for her career to her love life and relationship with her family. She was a great lead character.

    Hirahara also brings the readers a culturally diverse cast of characters from the lead character to the secondary characters. I liked seeing the dynamic of how Ellie interacted with both her co workers and her family. I liked the relationship that was brewing with the detective and her issues with her ex. It all added together to make a group of characters that were engaging and full of surprises. 

    What I didn't like:

    For the most part I really liked this one. It was very unique and not what I was expecting at all. Hirahara made me take notice with this book and look forward to more installments in the series.

    Bottom Line:

    Naomi Hirahara is obviously no stranger to the cozy genre. She has a strong voice and her characters are reflective of her cultural heritage. Murder on Bamboo Lane is also a testament to her love of Los Angeles and Chinatown. A great first book in a series with lots of potential for more great characters and stories in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first in a new series by this author (who has won an

    This is the first in a new series by this author (who has won an Edgar Award in the past and apparently has just won another award for this one). It introduces rookie LAPD Office Ellie Rush. Twenty-three years old, Ellie has followed in the footsteps of her aunt, the #2 person in the LAPD, Assistant Chief Cheryl Toma. Which appears to be both a blessing and a curse.

    Ellie is a member of the Central Division’s Bicycle Coordination Unit, i.e., a bicycle cop, but her dream is to become a detective. She is of mixed ethnicity: Her dad is white, her mother Japanese-American. In the opening pages, she comes across flyers posted in the neighborhood, and recognizes the photo of a missing girl as that of Jenny Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American girl who was her friend and college classmate. Not long after, the police find Jenny, shot to death.

    Jenny’s world is rocked. She is already in a difficult place, having recently broken up with her boyfriend of two years Her brother, Noah, is heavy into smoking pot, to which her father responds by saying that “based on neurological studies, the brain of a teenage boy is not fully developed, and my brother is a perfect example of that. Half human, half swamp creature.” More violence follows, and Jenny resolves to catch the killer.

    Jenny is a wonderful protagonist, conflicted about her work but with good instincts. Two things she learns early on: Trust no one, and stay one step ahead of everyone else. The author includes a lot of geographic descriptive material, as well as a great deal of culinary information on the availability of ethnic restaurants in the LA area. A very entertaining novel, and one that is recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Those too long reviews have a great damping effect

    On a new reader too much info is as bad as too little best reviews are short and teasers if i hadnt read the author before wouldnt bother to borrow like the other series but not keepers e.g. re reads just archieved in case

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2014

    Ellie Rush is a rookie Japanese-American LAPD bicycle cop.  She

    Ellie Rush is a rookie Japanese-American LAPD bicycle cop.  She patrols the streets of her area mainly to show a police presence in some of the ethnic areas.  One day, she hopes to become a detective, but when she comes across the dead body of a past classmate, she gets drawn into a mystery almost immediately.  Her aunt is the highest ranking Asian-American in the LAPD, though others on the police force aren't aware of this.  Her aunt wants Ellie to be her insider investigator in this case. 




     Is this a case of a love affair gone wrong, or does it go deeper into politics and inter-national affairs?  Ellie finds her friends, family and co-workers to be both a help and a hindrence.  Then there's her ex boyfriend and the hot new detective who was actually assigned to this case.  The clues lead Ellie into life threatening situations and a bit of gamesmanship too.  




    Ellie is a bright new heroine on the mystery scene.  She's smart, pretty, and very fit.  This book delves into the different ethnic communities in interesting and informative ways.  Food and friendships help to creatively drive the story, and Ellie's family is a treasure trove of love and conflict.  The idea of bicycle police is new and very interesting for me.  The generic politics of the area is fascinating too.  Definitely hope this is the start of a new series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    I am glad I don't work, because once I started this book, I didn

    I am glad I don't work, because once I started this book, I didn't want to stop. I liked everything about this book - the characters, the mystery and the setting. I am eagerly awaiting the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Reviews........

    Go here.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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