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Sue Ann Jaffarian and Naomi Hirahara Sign in San Diego

Event date: 
Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 12:00pm

 Sue Ann Jaffarian
     Naomi Hirahara

As the Berkley Prime Crime imprint celebrates its 20th anniversary, MGSD is delighted to host a pair of Prime Crime local authors at high noon.

With three mystery series under her belt and a career as a paralegal, one might wonder when Sue Ann Jaffarian has downtime. Sue Ann waited until 1995 to undertake a career as a novelist, becoming a dedicated writer, and completing two novels before switching to the genre of mystery. With a background as a paralegal, writing mysteries seemed to fall into place. Ghost of a Gamble is the sixth book in the popular Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery series.

Naomi Hirahara’s first book, Summer of the Big Bachi, was not only a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize, but was also a nominee for a Macavity mystery award. Not bad for a debut! The former reporter and editor for The Rafu Shimpo wrote four more books in the Mas Arai series. Naomi’s latest book, Murder on Bamboo Lane, is the first book in the Officer Ellie Rush series, and features a 22-year-old LAPD bicycle cop. (See Sarah’s review on our website.)

Ghost of a Gamble (Ghost of Granny Apples #1) Cover Image
Unavailable to Order
ISBN: 9780425262177
Availability: Special Order
Published: Berkley - April 1st, 2014

Spiritual medium Emma Whitecastle knows a good ghost when she feels one--like her own sweet Granny Apples, long gone but still as famous for her apple pies as she is for helping her great-great-great-granddaughter get to the core of the most baffling mysteries...

When Emma gets word of a sticky spirit problem in Las Vegas, she and the ghost of Granny Apples hit the road for Sin City. The spooked one is Dolly, a former showgirl. Dolly is haunted by Lenny, a dead Vegas hood worried about an aging mobster named Nemo coming after the leggy old bombshell. Dolly's playing dumb, but Emma's making a blind bet that she knows more about Nemo than she admits.

When Nemo is found dead, Dolly goes missing--and lands herself on a short list of suspects. Emma, Granny, and their pals comb Las Vegas to find her, only to discover the truth behind a casino heist gone bad, a hidden stash of stolen loot, and a missing wise guy who's not letting death come between him and setting things straight. And Emma and Granny Apples aren't about to fold until they save Dolly's neck and put her past to rest.

About the Author

Like the character Odelia Grey, Sue Ann Jaffarian is a full-time, middle-aged, paralegal. She lives in Los Angeles with her beloved cats, B and Raffi. 

Sue Ann heard the siren call of writing early in her life, but did not make the commitment to become a novelist until about 1995. After completing two novels (still unpublished), she turned her attention to the mystery genre, and fell in love. She continues to write both mysteries and general fiction, as well as short stories, and belongs to two very supportive writers' associations: Sisters In Crime, and Mystery Writers of America.

Hide & Snoop (Odelia Grey Mysteries #7) Cover Image
Unavailable to Order
ISBN: 9780738718897
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Midnight Ink - September 8th, 2012

Secondhand Stiff (Odelia Grey Mysteries #8) Cover Image
Unavailable to Order
ISBN: 9780738718880
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Midnight Ink - December 8th, 2013

Murder on Bamboo Lane (An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425264959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - April 1st, 2014

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.

About 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.

Strawberry Yellow: A Mas Arai Mystery (Mas Arai Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938849022
Availability: Backordered
Published: Prospect Park Books - February 23rd, 2013

Blood Hina (Mas Arai Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938849190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prospect Park Books LLC - Prospect Park Books - September 17th, 2013

Dummy of a Ghost Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101602560
Availability: Available Now
Published: Berkley - March 3rd, 2014


A party is giving Kelly Whitecastle a chance to play catch-up with old friends, and she’s especially keen on seeing Chris May again, an up-and-coming ventriloquist. But when Kelly sees his show, and Chris’s dummies, a couple named Shirley and Doug, appear to be staring straight at her, it only rattles Kelly’s nerves.

It seems that the ghosts of Chris’s grandparents inhabit those grinning heads full of sawdust and they have a warning for Kelly: Chris is in mortal danger. Now Kelly’s working the nightclub circuit to find out who—or what—wants Chris dead. And she’d better do it fast before the final curtain falls on Chris’s act.

Includes excerpts from the first three books in the series, plus a preview of the new Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery, Ghost of a Gamble