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Murder on Bamboo Lane

(An Officer Ellie Rush Mystery #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  448 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Trouble awaits rookie LAPD Officer Ellie Rush as she patrols the mean streets of Los Angeles on her bicycle

Bike cop Ellie Rush dreams of becoming a homicide detective, but its still a shock when the first dead body she encounters on the job is that of a former college classmate.

At the behest of her Aunt Cheryl, the highest-ranking Asian-American officer in the LAPD (a
Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  448 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Maybe it's the 20/20 hindsight talking, or else perhaps I'm too aware of the author's budding career, but this book felt like a first draft. Sometimes the author seems naive, other times she's too laid back, confident, and easily pleased with what she's written. The book feels like a rough copy.

Like many other authors before her Naomi Hirahara is eager to include many characters in the book so that it becomes impossible to guess the murderer's identity. I'm always humbled when I can't remember
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Ellie is a LAPD bicycle cop with dreams of becoming a detective. Her aunt happens to be high up on the hierarchy at the LAPD. Her dad is quietly supportive, her mother didn't support her becoming a cop (like her aunt). She has a close group of friends (of which her newly ex-boyfriend is also a part). When a former classmate is murdered, Ellie is drawn into the investigation.
I really enjoyed this one and I liked Ellie's growth and her ability to note her mistakes (and learn from them). I also
+ Well developed characters. Everyone in this book acted like a real person would.
+ Interesting family dynamic.
+ Smart complex but easy to follow mystery. And it written in such a realistic way that it felt like author wrote her story based on real life.
+ Attention to details.
+ First book I ever read with biracial white/asian protagonist.
+ Nice romance as a side dish to the main plot line.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this book after reading a review and really enjoyed it. This is the first in a series about Ellie Rush, a bicycle cop for the LAPD. She's young - just out of college - and eager to move up. She's also half Asian as a result of her American-born mother. Having an aunt who is in the hierarchy is both a blessing and a curse. Ellie isn't enjoying her bicycle cop status. For one thing people don't take her seriously. Most of her work involves keeping order at parades, patrolling farmers ...more
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Calling this one 5.5 in my own grading system. It was an okay read, no more, no less. This author writes the Mas Arai series, which is very good. Ellie Rush is no Mas Arai. There were some good things in this book, but too many things just seemed to drag the whole thing down to the so-so level. There is a new one just out I believe, but don't think I'll bother with it.
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Murder on Bamboo Lane was an interesting and entertaining read and I enjoyed it. I won't lie, a friend of mine recommended this on the the fact that a) it has a part-asian lead and a more multiracial cast and b) she thought it had a good realistic mystery, - but mostly a. I mean lets face it you simply don't see many Asian (or part-Asian) heroines (or heroes). The full cast is also multiracial/cultural which I think reflects LA very well. The mystery was also multilayered and well done which I ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Review from Backchatting Books

Ellie Rush knows that her family and friends think that being a bicycle cop is a bit of a joke but she's determined to make a difference in between policing port-a-potties and citing truants. She gets rather a nasty shock when the first dead body she stumbles upon turns out to be that of a girl she knew. Ellie gets caught up in the investigation at the behest of her aunt, a high ranked LAPD officer.

Ellie is a half Japanese American with a fairly unusual family that
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
New first-in-series book by an author whose other work I absolutely love! I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this book, though, and I was somewhat less than enamored of Ellie Rush. I'm not even sure why I couldn't get into her story or behind her.

I understand the dilemma of authors trying to make a series and a protagonist that will stand out from the sea of cookie-cutter sleuths out there, but in an attempt to make Ellie memorable, the author has instead made her so
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2015
Murder on Bamboo on Bamboo Lane by Naomi Hirahara is my most favorite cozy murder mystery of all time. Why? I used to live in an area north of LA and have been downtown often for jury duty and dining and enjoying the ethnic diversity. I want to say Thank you to the author, I am so grateful for a few days of reading that took me back to some places that I loved. The authors description of those places were correct, sometimes delightful, and sometimes just truthful but it was as if I took a ...more
I've had this book for almost a year now, and I'm so glad I finally read it. Once I started it, I finished it in just a few hours, even though I only meant to read a few chapters before going to sleep.
I wrote a paper on a book by Naomi Hirahara in college, and I emailed her to ask her some questions about her book, and to my great surprise and delight, she wrote me back!
Last year I got to see her on a panel at a book festival, and afterwards I bought this book and had it signed by Ms.
Julia Murakami
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ellie Rush, a hapa LAPD rookie officer, is the center of Naomi Hirahara's latest mystery series. I won't discuss the plot as you can get that so many other places. The story is engaging and wasn't predictable - a very important feature in a good mystery. Read the book late into the night over three sittings as I couldn't stop wanting to know more about Officer Rush, what she'd find, where her investigation would take her, how the characters were or weren't connected.

And, being an LA native
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Naomi Hiraharas new Officer Ellie Rush series is a gem. Murder on Bamboo Lane (love the title!) introduces us to Ellie Rush, a rookie LAPD bicycle cop. Ellie is half Japanese and half American and has a touch of melancholy. Shes not a detective, but when her former college classmate is murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. Its a unique blend of the police procedure and amateur detective sub-genres.

Ellie cares deeply about her borderline dysfunctional family and friends and her
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was glad when I finished the book. I had a hard time keeping interested in it.. The pacing was slow for me. I thought at times the storyline was a little confusing. There were many characters. Ellie was a bicycle policemen who initially took and withheld evidence and information from her fellow officers. She seemed to side on her friends side then to follow the law. I just wasn't invested in any of the characters and the storyline fell flat for me..
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A pretty interesting police procedural involving great characters and a likable protagonist with a strong sense of justice. Even though I highly enjoyed it despite quite a few editing errors, I wouldn't file it under the cozy category. The story was well-thought off and I really liked the multicultural element of Downtown L.A., where most of the action takes place. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another excellent story from Naomi Hirahara.

I really enjoyed the first person voice of her narrator.

All of the Los Angeles details were spot on.

The plot was convoluted and interesting.

I am looking forward to more in this series.

I purchased a copy of this mass market paperback.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: japanese
Hirahara introduces a new character who represents today's world, half Japanese and half White. She is a bicycle cop which gets little respect from her friends but is a way to work her way up the chain. She steps into a murder and with tenacity helps to solve it. Plot runs like her Mas Arai series, a gentle murder plot with a character who happens into a murder and solves it.
Julie Davis
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyable police procedural from the POV of a young Japanese American LAPD bike patrol officer. Naturally, for a book of this sort, she knows a murder victim and this is her chance to do a little extra snooping around while bucking for the detective track. It's not that simple, of course, but you get a good feel for L.A., the Asian community, and a good murder mystery.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ellie is a bike cop on patrol with the LAPD after graduating from college early. When a former classmate shows up dead and the cops are wanting to shut down the case, Ellie begins to try even harder to solve the case. I really enjoyed Murder on Bamboo Lane. It's a great start for the beginning of a series.
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was one of the best mystery books I had read all year. Great characters. Interesting mystery. Well researched. Love the main character. Can't wait for the next book.
Lovely series start. I liked the details about how her Asian-American friends and family felt conflicted about her decision to be a cop.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Hirahara writes in a first-person perspective, giving the narrative a straightforward, slightly clinical tone which fits Ellies character well. I loved the characters and the plot, but it took me weeks to finish this mystery. The pacing is sometimes slow and the awkward romance is something the story didnt really need. But theres way more here to like than to dislike. Ellie provides a lot of insight into the citys locales, as well as into the difficulties of being a bicycler in a city of ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
One of the reasons I enjoy mysteries is because they let me immerse myself into other cultures and places. Generally, if I end up liking them, they also include a character that I enjoy rubbing along with for a while. This series has both -- a great immersive view of an Asian protagonist in Los Angeles -- a perspective I am completely unfamiliar with, both geographically and culturally, and a great main character, Ellie Rush, who may be flawed, but is certainly putting the hard work in to grow ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I picked up this book from a Blind Date with a Book display and was very happy with the match-making. I hadnt been aware of her work before. This story was not only full of true, contemporary L.A. atmosphere and ethnic characters, it was a good mystery. I liked the way she fully fleshed out even the most minor charactersthe Gogoshian brothers are some that come to mind. The murder victims motives were as murky as the clues, and the tangled relationships that helped and hindered Ellie Rushs ...more
Mary Helene
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I rarely read these days without fact checking on my phone. I liked this book, I liked the LA setting and the characters' relationships unfolding. And her characters are exactly that! What a gallery! But I checked on Dith Pran. He died of pancreatic cancer, not a shot on the street. Since a mystery is a work of fiction, may we change the facts? I just couldn't see how it advanced the story, though, other than adding a wafting, ominous tone. A more lingering effect was a distrust in the story's ...more
Jenny Wheeler
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Murder on Bamboo Lane is the first book in the Officer Ellie Rush series and its a wonderful read. Ellie is such a refreshingly honest protagonist, and the Los Angeles she inhabits is so freshly drawn. It's unlike anything else you have read, a true original. Even the starting point - an LA cop on a pushbike in the city of cars - overturns the usual expectations and it just gets better from that starting point. I love this series and Naomi Hirahara is a gem - she writes beautifully, but she also ...more
Reynolds Darke
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a nicely done cop novel set among the ethnic communities of Los Angeles.
Ellie Rush is an Asian-American cop on bicycle patrol who knew a murder victim. She becomes part of the investigation team because of her special knowledge of the victim, the school they both attended, and the community.
The setting is very much part of the story. Each chapter is headed by the street name where the events take place.

Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This new series has a great idea a bicycle cop who makes her rounds in downtown Los Angeles. Newly minted police officer Ellie Rush is intelligent and appealing. The plot has some interesting elements connections to Vietnam, immigrants crowded into slum projects, conflicts over redistricting but falls a little flat by the end. The writing is not bad but someone should delete the word literally from the authors word processor. ...more
Dawn Kim
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Inherited this read from my MIL stack of garage sale donations. What a delightful find!! Some of the best characters Ive encountered in a long time. I even found affinity for the villains. Being Asian American I also appreciated the representation and minimal references to typical stereotypes. Plot didnt have me on the edge of my seat but I kept turning pages because I was so involved in the characters. Glad I came across it... ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I usually read cozies, this is a little change of pace for me. This is a little more brutal than my normal books, but not over the top. Having lived in LA for most of my life the author was spot on with her descriptions. Ellie Rush patrols the mean streets of LA on her what an eye opener. Fast read............
Lori Burns
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
So great to find a new (to me) mystery author that I really enjoy. The author's main character is Ellie Rush a bicycle cop for the LAPD. Also, Looking forward to reading the author's Edgar Award winning series with a mystery solving gardener as the main character. It is really interesting to read books that are set in our own big backyard of LA.
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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 ...more

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