a 2020 shamus award
As WWII rages in the Pacific, relatives of a Japanese-American suspected of starting a fatal fire hire Ohio private investigator Maggie Sullivan to uncover the truth. Did he do it? Is he alive or dead? The police claim not to know what became of him, and there are hints of War Department involvement.
Tosh Hashimoto and his family are among some 150 Japanese-Americans brought to Dayton by a church coalition that found jobs and housing for them throughout the community. The more Maggie learns about the night of the fire, the more she believes Tosh is being framed.
Grieving the recent loss of a close childhood friend killed in battle, Maggie wrestles inner conflict over taking the case. A harrowing attack in an alley, the murder of a witness, and a racist warning gouged into her office filing cabinet fuel her resolve to push ahead.
Amid rationing, shortages, extra beds for noisy newcomers wedged into corners of her once-quiet rooming house, and an unexpected change in her personal life, Maggie scrambles to determine the identity of a killer who is more than willing to kill again.
"Early on, I wanted to write more mysteries, specifically a series with a woman P.I. The traditional publishers I worked for kept telling me there just wasn’t enough market for that sort of book. Finally I took a long break from fiction writing. Then I decided to do the Maggie Sullivan mysteries. On my own. I’ve never regretted it."
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