This mystery story almost has a cozy mystery feel to me, even though it is set in a large city that has a wealth of characters and locations. The focus on a circumscribed area, quirky characters, and the lack of graphic details with respect to the murder support that feeling. I was fascinated by all of the interesting aspects of Los Angeles that were highlighted, and noted several places that I am going to have to visit, although I tend to shy away from downtown and the immediately surrounding areas because I have a limited patience for traffic snarls. The decidedly Asian flavor added insight into some of the many cultures that make up the city and it was intriguing to be exposed to the challenges facing those who must share the road with cars, even though I already have seen lots of changes as bike lanes are becoming commonplace all over the city. I think this was a nice start to the series, although I would like a little more depth to the characters and tend to like a faster pace to my stories. I think that this story will appeal to those who would like a glimpse of the city beneath the glitz and glamour that is normally characteristic of it, particularly if one appreciates an ethnic flair, and I look forward to seeing what other adventures this intrepid bicycle cop and her quirky friends get into.
“Murder on Bamboo Lane” by Naomi Hirahara is the debut novel of the ‘Officer Ellie Rush’ mystery series. Featuring a rookie police officer who is assigned to bicycle patrol in Los Angeles, but who has aspirations to become a detective, this story follows her as she starts finding her comfort level within the massive organization of law enforcement. A personal connection to a case being investigated leads Ellie on a journey that will have definite highs and lows, forcing her to closely examine her personal relationships and contemplate what she is willing to dare and to sacrifice in the pursuit of justice.
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 it’s 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 source of pride for Ellie’s grandmother, but annoyance to her mom), Ellie becomes tangled in the investigation of the coed’s murder—with equal parts help and hindrance from her nosy best friend, her over-involved ex-boyfriend, a smoldering detective, and seemingly everyone else in her extended family…only to uncover secrets that a killer may go to any lengths to ensure stay hidden.