PASADENA — Hiroshima survivor, L.A. gardener, widower, gambler, grandfather, and solver of crimes – Mas Arai is a protagonist unlike any other. From award-winning author Naomi Hirahara comes “Blood Hina,” the fourth installment of the Mas Arai mysteries, in paperback for the first time on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from Prospect Park Books.

“Blood Hina” is a quintessential L.A. story, with much of the action taking place in Downtown L.A. in such recognizable settings as the Southern California Flower Mart, Little Tokyo, and Paul’s Kitchen.

This time around, Mas’ best friend Haruo is getting married, and he has grudgingly agreed to serve as best man. But when an ancient Japanese doll display of Haruo’s fiancée goes missing, the wedding is called off with fingers pointed at Haruo. To solve the mystery to save Haruo’s life, Mas must untangle a web of secrecy, heart-breaking memories, and murder.

Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning and Anthony and Macavity Award-nominated author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which includes “Strawberry Yellow,” “Snakeskin Shamisen,” “Gasa-Gasa Girl,” and “Summer of the Big Bachi.” She has also written a number of nonfiction books, including “A Scent of Flowers: The History of the Southern California Flower Market, 1912-2004.”

Prospect Park, which also published “Strawberry Yellow,” announced that Hirahara’s latest installment in the series has been nominated for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award. (Also nominated were “Suspect” by Robert Crais and “What the Heart Remembers” by Debra Ginsberg.)

Hirahara’s books have earned such honors as The Chicago Tribune’s Ten Best Mysteries and Thrillers and Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year. The Stanford University alumna was born and raised in Altadena, where her protagonist lives; she now resides in the adjacent town of Pasadena.

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Prospect Park Books is an independent trade publisher of print and digital books in the fiction, humor, cooking/food, and regional genres. Founded in 2006 and based in Pasadena, Prospect Park is dedicated to working with authors, designers, and artists who are outside of the New York mainstream and celebrates a distinctly West Coast sensibility.

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