Edgar for Naomi Hirahara

creditSnakeskin Shamesin, third in the series of Naomi Hirahara's novels set in Southern California that feature Japanese-American gardener Mas Arai, won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America at a banquet tonight in New York. Her category is best paperback original. Hirahara, for those who don't know, is a former reporter for The Rafu Shimpo.

Here is a bit about the book from her website:

Few things get curmudgeonly Japanese American gardener Mas Arai more excited than gambling, so when he hears about a pal's half-a-million dollar win—from a novelty slot machine!—he's torn between admiration and derision. Bu the stakes suddenly get higher when the winner is found stabbed to death; only a battered snakeskin shamisen (a traditional Okinawan musical instrument) may hold a clue to the killer's identity. Mas reluctantly agrees to follow the trail left by the shamisen—and soon uncovers a world of secrets and deceptions that stretches from the streets of L.A. to the islands of Okinawa.

Here's an excerpt. Season 4 of "The Wire" on HBO also won an Edgar for best television feature for Ed Burns, Kia Corthron, Dennis Lehane, David Mills, Eric Overmyer, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon and William F. Zorzi. The Departed and writer William Monahan won for best motion picture screenplay.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Books stories on LA Observed:
Pop Sixties
LA Observed Notes: Bookstore stays open, NPR pact
Al Franken in Los Angeles many times over
His British invasion - and ours
Press freedom under Trump and the Festival of Books
Amy Dawes, 56, journalist and author
Richard Schickel, 84, film critic, director and author
The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner: An Interview with Ron Rapoport


LA Observed on Twitter