TORRANCE — Torrance Public Library presents Naomi Hirahara, author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Blvd., Torrance.

Naomi Hirahara (Rafu Shimpo photo)

Curmudgeonly Japanese American gardener and unwitting detective Mas Arai is back in “Strawberry Yellow,” set in the strawberry fields of Watsonville, where young Mas first arrived from Hiroshima in the 1940s. Now a semi-retired gardener who lives in an L.A. suburb, he returns for the funeral of a cousin and quickly gets entangled in the murder of a young woman. Was his cousin murdered, too?

Mas has to figure out what happened, keep himself safe in the face of considerable peril, and uncover the mystery of the Strawberry Yellow blight — and a new strawberry varietal so important that it could be inspiring a murderer.

“Mas, less an amateur detective than a cranky, accidental one, is what makes the story work,” Booklist said. “His obdurance, his skill as a listener, and even his broken English are charming in a quirky, uncomplicated way.”

The event is free. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the library, call (310) 618-5959 or visit For more information on the author, visit or her Facebook page.

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