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Five Reasons for the Asian Crime Wave

One of the great things about my side job as a crime novelist is the chance to commune and commiserate with others who are struggling along the same difficult path to publication. That's why I urge all aspiring mystery writers to attend the annual joint meeting of two local mystery-writing organizations — O.C. Sisters in Crime, and SoCal Mystery Writers of America — in Irvine on Sunday, August 24.

The free event will be held at the community room of the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15500 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, and will feature an author panel exploring the topic “Wok on the Wild Side: Asian Themes in Crime Fiction.” The panel will include:

  • Lisa Brackmann, author of “Hour of the Rat” and “Rock Paper Tiger,” both set in China and featuring Iraq War vet Ellie McEnroe;
  • Steph Cha, author of the new “Beware Beware” and “Follow Her Home,” about Koren American private investigator apprentice Juniper Song, a fan of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe;
  • Kim Fay, author of “The Map of Lost Memories,” a 2013 Edgar Award finalist for Best First Novel. She is also the series creator/editor of the “To Asia With Love” guidebooks and the author of “Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam”;
  • Tim Hallinan, who writes three series, including the Poke Rafferty books. Poke is a travel writer based in Bangkok (where Hallinan sometimes lives). The sixth book in the series, “For the Dead,” will be released in November. The fourth, “The Queen of Patpong,” was a 2010 Edgar nominee for Best Novel.
  • Moderator Naomi Hirahara is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, featuring a Japanese American gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. Her new series about young female LAPD bicycle cop Ellie Rush recently debuted with “Murder on Bamboo Lane.”

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. Reservations are required. Organizers are planning an Asian-themed buffet beforehand. For additional information contact: secretary@ocsistersincrime.org. (Disclaimer: Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the District's meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.)

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