Gasa-Gasa Girl

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Gasa-Gasa Girl [Reading] ➿ Gasa-Gasa Girl Author Naomi Hirahara – Polishdarling.co.uk 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 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 York City, and had a life he knew little about But an anxious phone call from Mari asking for his help plunges the usually obstinate Mas into a series of startling situations from maneuvering in an unfamiliar city to making nice with his tall, blond son in law, Lloyd, to taking care of a sickly child to finding a dead body in the rubble of a former koi pond The victim was Kazzy Ouchi, a half Japanese millionaire who also happened to be Mari and Lloyd s boss Stumbling onto the scene, Mas sees amiss than the detectives do, but his instinct is to keep his mouth shut Only when the case threatens his daughter and her family does Mas take action patiently, stubbornly tugging at the end of a tangled, dangerous mystery And as he does, he begins to lay bare a tragic secret on the dark side of an American dream Both a riveting mystery and a powerful story of passionate relationships across a cultural divide, Gasa Gasa Girl is a tale told with heart and wisdom an unforgettable portrait of fathers, daughters, and other strangers.


10 thoughts on “Gasa-Gasa Girl

  1. Patrick Sherriff Patrick Sherriff says:

    Sure the plot meanders, the action is restrained, the sleuth is a gardener, but it feels wrong to call this a cozy mystery There s nothing eminently unbelievable or silly about the Mas Arai mysteries, in fact there is nothing cozy about our hero, a survivor of the Hiroshima A bombing who must come to terms with life in the US as an at times unwelcome citizen who feels little love for Japan But instead of a hard drinking, hard living PI for hire, Arai san is a cantankerous 70 year old who is st Sure the plot meanders, the action is restrained, the sleuth is a gardener, but it feels wrong to call this a cozy mystery There s nothing eminently unbelievable or silly about the Mas Arai mysteries, in fact there is nothing cozy about our hero, a survivor of the Hiroshima A bombing who must come to terms with life in the US as an at times unwelcome citizen who feels little love for Japan But instead of a hard drinking, hard living PI for hire, Arai san is a cantankerous 70 year old who is struggling to keep a relationship with his only daughter There s humour and plenty of amusing, and at times, profound asides about life in the US from one of the hyphenated The writing, I felt, was stronger in this second outing from the first, but it may be just that I m getting to grips with the characters Brian Nishii is an excellent narrator for the series, by the way An excellent way to spend my commute walking to work in Abiko, Japan.Download my starter library for free here and receive my monthly newsletter with book recommendations galore for the Japanophile, crime fiction lover in all of us


  2. Chris Cutler Chris Cutler says:

    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 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 isn t the main point it isn t too much of a let down, and there were plenty of other pieces to try to put in place Gasa Gasa Girl also falls a bit short in that the historical research Hirahara delivers feels layered onto the plot, rather than woven into it as was the case in Big Bachi. That is a small point, though, and a only a slim margin keeps this book shy of five stars


  3. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    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 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 at this craft Retirement is a word that he knows will never apply to him He spent many years living very quietly until he was involved in a case chronicled in THE SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI the first in this series by Naomi Hirahara Now he is traveling to New York because his daughter has issued a cry for help.He is just getting his feet accustomed to concrete sidewalks when he discovers the dead body of his son in law LLoyd s boss in a Koi pond with mysterious markings This victim was Kazzy Ouchi a magnate in the silk garment industry was the son of a humble gardener at a big New York City estate Mas becomes enmeshed in the complex affair because one of his strengths is that he is not a quitter Mari and Lloyd are in the middle of this scenario and Mas investigates so he can extricate them This is a lovely book with interesting fascinating characters who have a background as a part of American history The author touches gently on all the different generations of Japanese Americans and how East coast and West coast lives of the citizens differ


  4. John John says:

    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 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 subplot was interesting, with a classic example of showing, not telling at the end One thing that occurs to me is that Mas doesn t seem to have much of a sense of humor he s a bit dull that way


  5. Stephen Douglas Rowland Stephen Douglas Rowland says:

    Sopho slump The second book in the Mas Arai series is sentimental, often boring, and loaded with grammatical errors Bummer.


  6. James James says:

    While it s a mystery series, at least so far, Mas Arai is not a cliche amateur detective This time it s his daughter and son in law that find themselves in over their head in a garden renovation and ask Mas to come and help out Things spin out of control with murder, embezzlement and other complications raising their head A decent read, and while not a roman noir mystery, it s not a cozy one either.


  7. Thomas Pluck Thomas Pluck says:

    Loved this introduction to a series I know I ll relish Great characters, delving through lesser known history, family struggles and intrigue what s not to like


  8. Linda Linda says:

    I read The Big Bachi a few months ago and wanted to like itthan 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 I read The Big Bachi a few months ago and wanted to like itthan 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 through with dogged determination I found myself growing fonder and fonder of this curmudgeon as the story went on I will definitely continue to read in this series


  9. Susan Susan says:

    I rarely start a series on other than the first book, but I was given this one and didn t realize it was part of a series It didn t seem to cause a problem The protagonist, Mas Arai, a Japanese American gardener in Los Angeles, is a unusual person to be solving a murder in New York But he is a fascinating character, and the mystery he has to unravel is complicated and interesting A quick, fun mystery.I do think I ll go back and read the first book, and probably others in the series as well.


  10. Susan Susan says:

    Easy, light reading I have the first 3 of the series gifts therefore, I m reading them However light and entertaining they are, there is at least one aspect of the presentation of the Japanese American characters that I find at least annoying and degrading It may be authentic but I feel like it s over done and that s the dialect or pronunciations of these characters especially the main character and his close friends of English with a Japanese accent I m surprised by the author s Easy, light reading I have the first 3 of the series gifts therefore, I m reading them However light and entertaining they are, there is at least one aspect of the presentation of the Japanese American characters that I find at least annoying and degrading It may be authentic but I feel like it s over done and that s the dialect or pronunciations of these characters especially the main character and his close friends of English with a Japanese accent I m surprised by the author s use of this device.I do enjoy the author s use of language, however That s fun for me


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10 thoughts on “Gasa-Gasa Girl

  1. Patrick Sherriff Patrick Sherriff says:

    Sure the plot meanders, the action is restrained, the sleuth is a gardener, but it feels wrong to call this a cozy mystery There s nothing eminently unbelievable or silly about the Mas Arai mysteries, in fact there is nothing cozy about our hero, a survivor of the Hiroshima A bombing who must come to terms with life in the US as an at times unwelcome citizen who feels little love for Japan But instead of a hard drinking, hard living PI for hire, Arai san is a cantankerous 70 year old who is st Sure the plot meanders, the action is restrained, the sleuth is a gardener, but it feels wrong to call this a cozy mystery There s nothing eminently unbelievable or silly about the Mas Arai mysteries, in fact there is nothing cozy about our hero, a survivor of the Hiroshima A bombing who must come to terms with life in the US as an at times unwelcome citizen who feels little love for Japan But instead of a hard drinking, hard living PI for hire, Arai san is a cantankerous 70 year old who is struggling to keep a relationship with his only daughter There s humour and plenty of amusing, and at times, profound asides about life in the US from one of the hyphenated The writing, I felt, was stronger in this second outing from the first, but it may be just that I m getting to grips with the characters Brian Nishii is an excellent narrator for the series, by the way An excellent way to spend my commute walking to work in Abiko, Japan.Download my starter library for free here and receive my monthly newsletter with book recommendations galore for the Japanophile, crime fiction lover in all of us


  2. Chris Cutler Chris Cutler says:

    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 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 isn t the main point it isn t too much of a let down, and there were plenty of other pieces to try to put in place Gasa Gasa Girl also falls a bit short in that the historical research Hirahara delivers feels layered onto the plot, rather than woven into it as was the case in Big Bachi. That is a small point, though, and a only a slim margin keeps this book shy of five stars


  3. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    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 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 at this craft Retirement is a word that he knows will never apply to him He spent many years living very quietly until he was involved in a case chronicled in THE SUMMER OF THE BIG BACHI the first in this series by Naomi Hirahara Now he is traveling to New York because his daughter has issued a cry for help.He is just getting his feet accustomed to concrete sidewalks when he discovers the dead body of his son in law LLoyd s boss in a Koi pond with mysterious markings This victim was Kazzy Ouchi a magnate in the silk garment industry was the son of a humble gardener at a big New York City estate Mas becomes enmeshed in the complex affair because one of his strengths is that he is not a quitter Mari and Lloyd are in the middle of this scenario and Mas investigates so he can extricate them This is a lovely book with interesting fascinating characters who have a background as a part of American history The author touches gently on all the different generations of Japanese Americans and how East coast and West coast lives of the citizens differ


  4. John John says:

    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 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 subplot was interesting, with a classic example of showing, not telling at the end One thing that occurs to me is that Mas doesn t seem to have much of a sense of humor he s a bit dull that way


  5. Stephen Douglas Rowland Stephen Douglas Rowland says:

    Sopho slump The second book in the Mas Arai series is sentimental, often boring, and loaded with grammatical errors Bummer.


  6. James James says:

    While it s a mystery series, at least so far, Mas Arai is not a cliche amateur detective This time it s his daughter and son in law that find themselves in over their head in a garden renovation and ask Mas to come and help out Things spin out of control with murder, embezzlement and other complications raising their head A decent read, and while not a roman noir mystery, it s not a cozy one either.


  7. Thomas Pluck Thomas Pluck says:

    Loved this introduction to a series I know I ll relish Great characters, delving through lesser known history, family struggles and intrigue what s not to like


  8. Linda Linda says:

    I read The Big Bachi a few months ago and wanted to like itthan 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 I read The Big Bachi a few months ago and wanted to like itthan 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 through with dogged determination I found myself growing fonder and fonder of this curmudgeon as the story went on I will definitely continue to read in this series


  9. Susan Susan says:

    I rarely start a series on other than the first book, but I was given this one and didn t realize it was part of a series It didn t seem to cause a problem The protagonist, Mas Arai, a Japanese American gardener in Los Angeles, is a unusual person to be solving a murder in New York But he is a fascinating character, and the mystery he has to unravel is complicated and interesting A quick, fun mystery.I do think I ll go back and read the first book, and probably others in the series as well.


  10. Susan Susan says:

    Easy, light reading I have the first 3 of the series gifts therefore, I m reading them However light and entertaining they are, there is at least one aspect of the presentation of the Japanese American characters that I find at least annoying and degrading It may be authentic but I feel like it s over done and that s the dialect or pronunciations of these characters especially the main character and his close friends of English with a Japanese accent I m surprised by the author s Easy, light reading I have the first 3 of the series gifts therefore, I m reading them However light and entertaining they are, there is at least one aspect of the presentation of the Japanese American characters that I find at least annoying and degrading It may be authentic but I feel like it s over done and that s the dialect or pronunciations of these characters especially the main character and his close friends of English with a Japanese accent I m surprised by the author s use of this device.I do enjoy the author s use of language, however That s fun for me


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