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Killer Roll


Oct. 4, 2018 - Sept. 4, 2019

Maki Mitchell, one of the few female Japanese chefs in the world, works at Yudai’s Corner, a sushi bar in California’s Silicon Valley. Still bruised from her divorce to an American man, she uncharacteristically lets down her guard to a male customer one evening. That seemingly random encounter leads her down dark paths involving high-tech hijinks and international espionage. Soon Yudai’s Corner becomes a full-fledged detective agency and all the employees ban together to not only solve murders but to also support and protect the life of their female sushi chef.

Read Chapter One


Stories from this series

Thumbnail for Chapter Twelve — Family Ties
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Chapter Twelve — Family Ties

Sept. 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

“Just give it to me, Maki.” I hear Carrie’s voice behind me. I’m so relieved that she, Som, and Crowe have arrived. She walks and stands in front of me, her blue eyes laser focused on my face and I know that she means business. I have a government-issued gun in my trembling hands and I almost drop it. Luckily she has good reflexes and catches it. Agent Neela Bronstein is still yelling obscenities related to her palm wound. Blood …

Thumbnail for Chapter Eleven — How to Sharpen a Knife
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Chapter Eleven — How to Sharpen a Knife

Aug. 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

One of the first things Yudai, my boss at the sushi bar, taught me was how to properly sharpen my knife. He uses the traditional Japanese method of mizunoushi, or literally water stones. They are rectangular stones that look like the Japanese confection yokan. After soaking them in water for 12 hours, you remove the stones and sharpen your blade with them, scraping the blade against the stone’s surface at a 15 degree angle. Here in Carrie’s car, we don’t …

Thumbnail for Chapter Ten — Double Crosser
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Chapter Ten — Double Crosser

July 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

“What do you mean Yudai was behind this?” I can hardly get the words out of my mouth. Yudai is like my Japanese brother—only many times more because while my own blood relatives have stomped on my dream, Yudai made it possible for me to be a sushi chef. And Som, my coworker, is saying that our beloved boss may be trying to destroy us. “You’re out of your mind, Som,” Carrie says as she steers her car onto El …

Thumbnail for Chapter Nine — Where’s Som?
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Chapter Nine — Where’s Som?

June 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

On my dead husband’s laptop is only one document, a letter addressed to me. Carrie glances at me and I nod. She double clicks on the “For Maki” file and a Microsoft Word document opens. Dear Maki: If you are reading this, I’m probably dead and you’ve been smart enough to stay alive. I’m so sorry that I’ve put you in such a terrible position. I wish I had some good advice for you, but you’ve seen where I’ve ended …

Thumbnail for Chapter Eight — Try <em>Tamago</em>
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Chapter Eight — Try Tamago

May 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

I wait for Crowe to threaten to publicly expose my lies. I picture being kicked out of the dorm and being on the front page of the Stanford Daily: middle-aged Japanese sushi chef impersonating a graduate student.  “Anago feast,” he says, sharpening his kitchen knife with a steel rod. “Excuse me?” I find a wire-mesh strainer and pour my broth into a plastic container. I’ll use the dashi for another purpose. “You mean that you prepared an anago feast for …

Thumbnail for Chapter Seven — The Magic of Kitchen
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Chapter Seven — The Magic of Kitchen

April 4, 2019 • Naomi Hirahara

The condo itself is one of those nondescript kinds all along Embarcadero in Palo Alto. It’s part of a larger complex with probably at least fifty units. My ex-husband’s condo is way in the back and I stand there waiting for his lawyer, Jordan Phelps. With everything that has happened, I know that it’s quite dangerous for me to be out there, in plain sight. But I’m tired of being scared and ashamed about my past. Ever since my customer—well, …

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Author in This Series

Naomi Hirahara is the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series, which features a Kibei Nisei gardener and atomic-bomb survivor who solves crimes, Officer Ellie Rush series, and now the new Leilani Santiago mysteries. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo, she has written a number of nonfiction books on the Japanese American experience and several 12-part serials for Discover Nikkei.

Updated October 2019

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