Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m.
We are as pleased as holiday punch to host Timothy Hallinan as he debuts the latest addition to his acclaimed Junior Bender series, Fields Where They Lay, in which he takes us on a comic tour-de-force of holiday crime in a suburban Los Angeles mall. Our bookstore mystery reader Liz loves it and recommends it as the perfect holiday gift for other mystery readers. Tim will be in conversation with Edgar-winner Naomi Hirahara, out this year with Sayonara Slam, the newest in her heralded Mas Arai series, and crime novelist Steph Cha, noir editor for L.A. Review of Books, and author of the Juniper Song mystery series. Together their divergent characters form a patchwork L.A. that reflects our city’s demographic and societal trends. Come get intoxicated by this potent mystery punch with the authors giving a reading, talk, q&a, and signing.
Fields Where They Lay has been named one of the season’s most awaited books by Entertainment Weekly, BookPage, and Publisher’s Weekly and now awarded four star picks. Junior Bender, divorced father of one and burglar extraordinaire, finds himself stuck inside the Edgerton Mall, and not just as a last-minute shopper (though he is that too). Despite its canned Christmas music and metallic garlands, the mall is a fossil of an industry in decline; many of its stores are closed, and there is a rampant shoplifting problem. The murderous Russian mobster who owns the place has decided it takes a thief to catch a thief and hires Junior—under threat. But Junior’s surveillance operation doesn’t go well: as Christmas Eve approaches, two people are dead and it’s obvious that shoplifting is the least of the mall’s problems. To prevent further deaths, possibly including his own, Junior must confront his dread of Christmas—both present and past.
“An unexpectedly rich Christmas gift……a plum pudding stuffed with cynical disillusionment,organized and disorganized crime, two Santas, a seasonal miracle, and an ending that earns every bit of its uplift.”—Kirkus Reviews
The Junior Bender Series: “Plenty funny and packed with colorful characters.”—The New York Times Book Review
At Dodger Stadium it’s Japan vs. Korea in the World Baseball Classic, but before the first pitch is thrown, Mas Arai finds himself in the middle of a murder. Mysteries layer atop mysteries in this sixth in the award-winning series featuring the most unlikely of sleuths, an aging, widowed, not-exactly-communicative gardener from Altadena, California. Who is that unusual woman throwing knuckleball pitches to warm up the Japanese team? Who sent thugs to threaten Mas and accuse him of treason? And what were in the deleted files on the murdered sportswriter’s computer—and did they hold secrets that led to his death? The more mysteries Mas uncovers, the deeper he gets drawn into a situation that soon grows dangerous—including the danger of losing the affection of the woman he might someday admit he loves.
“What makes this series unique is its flawed and honorable protagonist… A fascinating insight into a complex and admirable man.”—Booklist
Timothy Hallinan has been nominated for the Edgar, Nero, Shamus, Macavity and Silver Dagger awards. He is the author of nineteen widely praised books, including For the Dead, The Hot Countries,Crashed, Little Elvises, The Fame Thief, King Maybe, and Herbie’s Game, which won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery. After years of working in the television and music industries, he now writes full-time. He divides his time between California and Thailand.
Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of two mystery series set in Los Angeles. Her Mas Arai series, which features a Hiroshima survivor and gardener, has been translated into Japanese, Korean and French. The first, Summer of the Big Bachi, is being developed into an independent film. Her Officer Ellie Rush bicycle cop series received the 2014 T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award. She has also published noir short stories, middle-grade fiction and nonfiction books.
Steph Cha is the author of the Juniper Song series, Follow Her Home, Beware Beware, and Dead Soon Enough, all published by St.Martin’s Minotaur. She’s the noir editor for the L.A. Review of Books, a temp attorney and a regular contributor to the L.A. Times. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles with her husband and her adorable basset hound Duke. With any luck, he’ll be at the event.