The 2013 L.A. Times Festival of Books will be held the weekend of April 20-21 on the campus of USC, with upwards of 150,000 expected to attend the free event.

Naomi Hirahara

Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya will have booth No. 84 at the festival, with a full schedule of noted authors making appearances to greet readers and sign copies of their works.

Among those scheduled to be at the Kinokuniya booth are mystery writers Naomi Hirahara and Fuminori Nakamura, children’s author and illustrator Sunny Seki, Japan Times columnist Amy Chavez and illustrator Setsu Broderick.

Hirahara’s  latest release is “Strawberry Yellow,” the fifth title in her Edgar Award-winning series about gardener-turned-sleuth Mas Arai. In this installment, Arai becomes entangled in the murder of a young woman, which may be tied to the production of a new — and possibly very profitable — variety of berries.

Fuminori Nakamura

Hirahara is scheduled to be at the Kinokuniya booth on April 20, from 2-3 p.m.

On April 21 at 1:30 p.m., she will be part of a panel discussion, “Crime Fiction: And Another Thing — Stories in Series,” at the Salvatori Computer Science Center with Miles Corwin, Denise Hamilton, P.G. Sturges and Lee Goldberg (moderator).

Nakamura will travel from Tokyo to attend the festival, and will be at the Kinokuniya booth from 1-2:30 p.m. on April 21. He will sign copies of his newest crime drama, “The Thief,” honored as the Best Mystery of 2012 by The Wall Street Journal and a Thriller of the Month by

Sunny Seki

“The Thief” follows a career pickpocket as he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. His life takes a perilous turn when a job he takes with an old partner in crime turns frightfully wrong – and deadly.

Nakamura will take part in a panel discussion, “Crime Fiction: What We Can’t Tell You,” on April 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the Salvatori Computer Science Center with Attica Locke, Chris Pavone, Ariel S. Winter and Tom Nolan (moderator).

Seki, whose books are based on Japanese folklore, is the author of “Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll,” “The Last Kappa of Old Japan” and “The Tale of the Lucky Cat.”

Broderick has illustrated such books as “Japanese Traditions,” “Cat Blessings,” “Cats Rule” and “Dogs Rule.”

On the Poetry Stage, Brynn Saito will read from her book “The Palace of Contemplating Departure” on April 20 at 12 p.m.

Called the largest and most prestigious public literary event in North America, the Festival of Books this year will include appearances by authors and chefs, local musicians, political experts and entertainers, including Paul Anka, Brian Boitano, Carol Burnett, Susan Feniger, Debbie Reynolds and Molly Ringwald.

The complete Festival of Books schedule and more information can be found at

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