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Blood Hina: A Mas Arai Mystery (A Mass Arai Mystery)
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Blood Hina: A Mas Arai Mystery (Mas Arai #4)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  151 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In this fourth installment of Naomi Hirahara's highly acclaimed "Mas Arai" mystery series, Mas' best friend Haruo is getting married and Mas has grudgingly agreed to serve as best man. But then an ancient Japanese doll display of Haruo's fiancee goes missing, and the wedding is called off with fingers pointed at Haruo. To clear his friend's name, Mas must first uncover a w ...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published (first published March 2nd 2010)
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May 29, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of the Mas Arai books so far! I have a whole set of Girl's Day Dolls passed down from my grandmother, so this really meant something to me. Plus, enjoying the "love connection" for Mas!
Petrea Burchard
Apr 25, 2016 Petrea Burchard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Naomi Hirahara's Mas Arai mysteries are wonderful to read for a lot of reasons. First, there's Mas himself. I know of no other character like him. An elderly Japanese gardener who came to America after surviving the bomb at Hiroshima, Mas feels like a man without a country. He doesn't speak good English and after all these years his Japanese isn't so good either, so he's also a man without a language. Hirahara renders his dialect with love and respect, so clearly I can hear him speak. He is such ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Randee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian-books, mystery
I picked this up not too long ago at Half Price Books. It's the first time I've read Naomi Hirahara's detective series even though this is the 4th book. I will for sure be reading the others. In fact, the third in the series, Snakeskin Shamisen, won the 2007 Edgar award for best original paperback. I truly enjoyed this because it combines two of my passions, all thing Japanese and gardening. Her detective is Mas Arai who is a curmudgeonly, older Japanese man who lives in Los Angeles and is a sem ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mas Arai is the best man in his friend’s wedding. It is a good thing that people have wedding rehearsals as Mas has dropped the wedding ring into the koi fish pond. Well things can only get better from here…right? No things can get worse…a lot worse. Mas’s friend’s fiancée’s priceless Japanese doll collection has been stolen. Who would want to steal a doll collection and why? These are the questions Mas must find answers to in Blood Hina.

Author Naomi Hirahara has written several novels but Bloo
Jul 12, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I almost read this one out of order, since I couldn't find Snakeskin Shamisen in any libraries or bookstores nearby. I'm glad I decided to buy an ebook copy and read the books in sequence. That way I can enjoy Mas' growth and slow changes as they occur. I am eager for #5 to be written.

Once again I enjoyed the development and believability of the relationships, both the old and the new. And, once again, the mystery took me by surprise. This time, one of the elements approached the unbelievable, a
Rogue Reader
Mas Ari is a wonderful protag: smart, dissembling, loyal. Mixing in incidents of historical significance and interest, old and new Los Angeles, and the Japanese experience in America all make a win-win-win mystery. Publisher's Weekly says, "...shyly powerful", and that's a nice sum up of Hirahara's writing and Mas Ari himself.

In Blood Hina, Mas searches for Haruo who has disappeared shortly after his bride-to-be cancels their wedding and her antique Japanese dolls are stolen. Intrigue at the flo
Jul 07, 2011 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#4 Mas Arai mystery, featuring the seventy-something Japanese-American gardener in LA. Mas investigates the theft of some Hina dolls that belonged to his best friend's fiance Spoon--and their disappearance caused the bride-to-be to cancel the wedding on the big day itself. Then Haruo himself disappears and Mas is fraught with worry as he uses his harmless old man persona to overhear some interesting information that may lead back to the death of Spoon's first husband some twenty years previously ...more
Apr 14, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Semi-retired Japanese-American gardener Mas Arai reluctantly agrees to be best man at his friend Haruo's wedding. Then some heirloom dolls are stolen from Haruo's fiancee Spoon's house, and the wedding is called off. Haruo moves in with Mas, who feels impelled to investigate, even though he doesn't see why there's such a fuss about the hina--wedding doll. Despite himself, Mas also starts to feel sorry for Spoon's youngest daughter Dee, lately out of rehab. This is a wonderful series, and if you ...more
Oct 29, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mas Arai definately my new favorite "reluctant detective". His character tries so hard to stay in the background - then he does have to help his friends - who are so quirky. A look at Japanese American culture in Los Angeles as well.
Naomi Hirahara was at the San Diego County Library Book Festival, good speaker, she llikened some of Mas Arais characteristics to her father. I can't wait for the next installment!
May 13, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a whle to adjust to the "accent" of the characters in this one-but once I got the hang of it-I really enjoyed this mystery. The protagonist is one I've never encountered before-I've read the reluctant detective, and the grumpy detective, but never the 2 together in such an interesting mix. The cultural aspects where wonderfully detailed. Really enjoyed this one.
Lani Duke
Apr 22, 2015 Lani Duke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A charming book with an unexpectedly endearing protagonist. Very plausible plot set in a part of the world I know little about. I did not think I would like it when I glanced at it initially, but it is a book and writing style that grows on this reader.
I've come to love this series. Mas Arai used to irritate me, but now I love him. Though if I had to live with him, I'd probably deck him. This is a fine entry to the series, with interesting details about Japanese dolls and the flower market trade in L.A.
Jul 17, 2010 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I didn't think I'd like the charcters but in the end I really enjoyed the older Mas character and found the mystery worth the time. This mystery is different with MAs as the unlikely detective. He is not your typical detective.
Sep 12, 2010 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book. I have read many reviews that mention that this is not the best of the Mas Arai series. If so, then I really look forward to reading the rest.
Mike Ekinaka
Mar 13, 2014 Mike Ekinaka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're Japanese American and grew up in LA you might enjoy this book as it will remind you of people and places from your past.
May 22, 2010 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mas Arai is an interesting non-detective detector. A nice addition to the series. Looks like his daughter is moving back to LA....
Jane Dugger
Not as good as previous ones but still enjoyable.
Mary Helene
May 09, 2014 Mary Helene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Good but not as good as earlier ones. This one felt written in a hurry. There were some outstanding scenes (example: how Mas' jealousy rose up and he was proud of his calluses shaking the other gardener's hand) but but but the plot lines were improbable and complex and the wrap up hasty. This one needed another rewrite to be the best it could be. Still can't beat it for Japanese/LA sense of place.
Lucy Takeda
This is the third Hirahara novel I have read. They are good, but I am not enthralled. I get the entire male " don't share" attitude. My husband is Japanese; my dad was raised in the Midwest. The mystery is fair to good. I really like th character Haruo. In fact, I prefer him to Mas. The stories are good, but I'm not intrigued enough to purchase others in the series.
Kris Kaushik
Very strange book - good view of a Japanese surviving the incarceration during WWII. The local lingo of California Japanese is a bit difficult to get used to but overall the book is well-written and explores a group that I have never seen discussed. Worth a gander!
Carol Tensen
Dec 28, 2014 Carol Tensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Blood Hina is the fourth in a series. I seriously couldn't put this one down. Was it because I have a soft spot for Haruo with his keloid scar? Or was it because I liked the way Mas and Dee developed a sort of reluctant parent child relationship? Maybe it was the way Hirahara depicts L.A. County: the convergence of the Flower Mart, Toy District, and Skid Row, the Japanese Cultural Center in J-Town, St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Crenshaw, and, of course, Altadena. In spite of his language diffic ...more
Not a common setting or hero for a mystery novel. The Japanese words and the style took some time to get used to, but thr unusual nature of the book was what made it interesting
Michael Tomlinson
Oct 17, 2014 Michael Tomlinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming mystery set in the Japanese-American sub-culture of the LA flower-markets, which is lovingly created. Beautifully written throughout.
There are a lot of positive blurbs on the dust jacket of Blood Hina, and I don't quite get why. And I'm fairly disappointed. Murder and mayhem in the Japanese Issei, Nisei and Sansei communities, and the daily life of immigrants and working-class natives in the gardening and agricultural industry in modern-day Los Angeles could be a refreshing, interesting world within the mystery genre. Maybe earlier books in the Mas Arai series are good; this one, particularly the simple pidgin English-speakin ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Cymiki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese
oh boy! look what showed up in my inbox!
part 2 - look who did not have time to read, jeez.......
part 3 - this was probably the longest book i've ever read in terms of having it checked out and returning it over and over again. happy to report that i finally finished it. as with the other Mas Arai books, love the character and the Japanese words in the book. Many i understand and have to smile as these terms take me back to old times.....
Aug 13, 2013 Tiffany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The mystery was definitely hard to piece together. I like that you get a rudimentary Japanese lesson throughout the book. Not too much. I often felt sorry for the main character because he's old with a car he has to open with a screwdriver. I didn't feel like he did too much deduction or anything, he just kind of followed leads and stumbled into the story along the way.
May 07, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A different main character than any I've ever read about. Mas Arai is old, speaks lousy English and Japanese, is too shy to tell anyone what he really thinks and crotchety. Getting past him was hard, but the story was interesting.
Aug 02, 2011 Kanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best line on page 203: "Yeah, sounds like you were in some kind of assassin movie," G.I. said from the second line. "Pretty soon they'll be calling you Mas the Badass."
An elderly Japanese American detective, he's grumpy, he clicks his dentures and he's great. The setting is both odd and familiar at the same time. A good vacation read.
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Naomi Hirahara writes stories in the form of mystery novels, noir story stories, middle-grade fiction, historical nonfiction and personal essay. The third in her Mas Arai mystery series, SNAKESKIN SHAMISEN, won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original. The first, SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI, will be published in France in 2015 as LA MALEDICTION D'UN JARDINIER KIBEI. The first in her Office ...more
More about Naomi Hirahara...

Other Books in the Series

Mas Arai (6 books)
  • Summer of the Big Bachi (Mas Arai, #1)
  • Gasa-Gasa Girl (Mas Arai, #2)
  • Snakeskin Shamisen (Mas Arai, #3)
  • Strawberry Yellow (Mas Arai #5)
  • Sayonara Slam

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