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Gasa-Gasa Girl (Mas Arai #2)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From the time she was a child, Mas Arai’s daughter, Mari, was completely gasa-gasa–never sitting still, always on the go, getting into everything. And Mas, busy tending lawns, gambling, and struggling to put his Hiroshima past behind him, never had much time for the family he was trying to support. For years now, his resentful daughter has lived a continent away in New Yor ...more
ebook, 300 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Delta (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 334)
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First, this isn't a stand alone - read Summer of the Big Bachi for backstory on Mas and his family. I commend the author for switching the location to NYC, where she does a good job with setting scenes, as well as credible impressions by Mas. My problem was that I never got a handle on the characters in this specific story, so never felt fully invested in the plot, so I didn't really care who did it, or why. Moreover, I didn't feel we learned a lot about his daughter Mari either. Tug Yamada's su ...more
A good mystery book but a bit complex. I had to use some thinking for this book.
~Sachi <3
Good book, and slightly off.
A great follow-on to Summer of the Big Bachi. The best part of the book is the excellently written viewpoint that lets the reader see the world through the eyes of a gardener. Mas is just as convincing as before, and Hirahara once again does a very good job of letting the mystery drive the book without upstaging the people and relationships that the story is really about.

Surrounded by expert understatement, the central clue about the murder is disappointingly over-obvious. But since "whodunnit"
Mari Arai was always known to her parents as being gaza-gasa, an into everything kind of girl, just the opposite of laid back. Mas Arai, her dad tells her she takes after her mother. Mari retorts that her mother claimed it was a trait taken from her father. This may be the closer to the truth. Mas Arai had dreams of becoming an engineer but he life took another path after he was fortunate enough to survive the Hiroshima bomb.

Mas ended up becoming a gardener in the LA area and spent many decades
I read The Big Bachi a few months ago and wanted to like it more than I did. However, after seeing Hirahara at Bouchercon last month, I decided to give the series another try. I'm glad I did. In this novel, Mas Arai goes to New York to help his daughter. While he is there, the man she and her husband are trying to build a garden for is murdered. Both are considered suspects, so Mas tries to find out who is really responsible.

Mas is bewildered by both New York and his daughter, but muddles throu
Naomi Hirahara has created a great character in Mas Arai and the friends, cronies, and family who populate his life in the stories Hirahara tells. Having spent some time in Japan, I especially enjoy reading these books. You get a deep look into this very interesting Japanese gardener living in the Los Angeles area who is also a reluctant detective, as well as drawn back to the way Japanese Americans were treated during the war. I like to visit Little Tokyo here in CA, where Mas also shows up som ...more
RATING: 3.25
OCCUPATION: 70-year-old Japanese gardener
SERIES: #2 of 2
SUMMARY: Summoned to New York from LA by his daughter, Mas Arai finds himself in a strange world, starting at his daughter's home with her sickly baby and white husband. Lloyd has been designing a garden that is almost a memorial for a rich man who is killed. Mas is very much an amateur sleuth, which is not my favorite kind of book. But I liked his character so much that I stuck with the bo
Loretta Loebs
Good read like the first.
This is the second in the series. In this book Mas goes to New York to visit his daughter, son-in-law and new grand baby. The first book seems such a fit with LA I was apprehensive. But it was good. I liked following Mas gettting around, comfortable and discovering New York. Of course he discovers a dead body in the book of his son in laws work place.

I am eager to read the 3rd book.
Cynthia Naden
I am reading this one for the Mystery Group at Vromans. It is okay so far - we shall see. Do not think it will be one of my favs.....and it is not. While this author is a local author to me (Pasadena/Altadena) I was disappointed that this particular book about her Japanese American gardner, Mas Arai, took place in New York and not locally. But it was a short read which was good.
Loved this sophomore in the Mas Arai series. This time, the author kicks the gore up a notch but still keeps it somewhat safe. I really like how the story builds on Mas and his relationship with his estranged daughter. This would make an interesting audio book too. I could almost imagine the voices as I finished this book. I would highly recommend this book.
2.5 if half stars were allowed.

This was a pretty standard mystery, not too obvious, with a somewhat unusual and mildly interesting mix of characters. The author's efforts to communicate something about Japanese-American culture were in places a little too forced. In a word, it was OK, but I won't be looking out for the rest of the series.
This was slow going for the first 50 or so pages, then picked up a bit later in book. Author has a series of mysteries featuring same character, 70 year old retired Japanese American gardener Mas Arai, who lives in Los Angeles. I didn't like it enough to read more books in this series though.
Mas is a fascinating character, gruff and quiet and by no means a detective. He doesn't set out to solve murders, but they happen around him and he has to cope. He is slow to warm to, but he crept up on me, and now I'm quite taken with him. Looking forward to more from HIrahara.
Fun read with lots of LA Japanese insider references.
Jane Dugger
This was a good showing for a second book. I believe I enjoyed this one more. I don't know if it's because I was use to the writing & Japanese lingo or because I was trapped on an airplane. I am voting for the former. I look forward to the next book.
A good sequel to the Mas Arai series. Although mystery is not my most-favorite genre, I have enjoyed these book, largely for their insights into Asian-American life and because I like the protagonist and his pals.
Hirahara came into her own with this second novel in the series. I'm hooked, and I'm more interested in the crime-solvers than in the particular mystery which is the mark of a great mystery series.
This is the second in a series of books about a Kibei or American-born, Japanese-raised man named Mas Arai. Although not as compelling as the first installment, it's an easy and enjoyable read.
Mary Helene
I tried to like this book. The elements are all there: characters connected to a real place, real history, self-reflection, cranky hero, but somehow it felt mechanical and I failed to engage.
Angela Cybulski
I like Hirahara's original take on the traditional mystery. Her hero, Mas Arai, is an unexpected pleasure and the interweaving of Japanese American culture through the story is interesting.
I probably read this mystery too fast. I found it choppy and couldn't remember the meanings of all the Japanese words thrown in. I wish I had learned more about Japanese-American culture.
I enjoyed this second in the series even more than #1. Mas Arai visits his daughter in NYC and gets involved in a mystery and murder. Great characters and good mystery.
Surprise summer read.... Enjoyable summer book.
Couldn't get into the Snakeskin Shamesan enough to read it before I had to return it.
Frances Mckeehan
Great series.
This is the second of 4 books in the Mas Arai Mysteries. If this seems confusing you might want to read the first book.
A good follow-up to Summer of the Big Bachi, although I found the plot both predictable and "out there" (is that possible?).
I have read all of Hirahara books and can't wait until she writes another one. T
another great book by this amazing author, sequel to the big bachi
Mas Arai is a hard guy to know, but this is a good book.
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'Gasa Gasa Girl' 1 7 Apr 22, 2008 11:10AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Mas Arai (5 books)
  • Summer of the Big Bachi (Mas Arai, #1)
  • Snakeskin Shamisen (Mas Arai, #3)
  • Blood Hina (Mas Arai, #4)
  • Strawberry Yellow (Mas Arai #5)
1001 Cranes Summer of the Big Bachi (Mas Arai, #1) Murder on Bamboo Lane Snakeskin Shamisen (Mas Arai, #3) Blood Hina (Mas Arai, #4)

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