Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien
Series: Noodle Shop Mystery #2
Published by St Martin's Paperbacks on August 28, 2018
Source: Purchased
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
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three-half-stars

Welcome back to Ho-Lee Noodle House, where you can get fantastic take-out. . .unless you get taken out first.

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.

Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .

First off, I love the covers of the Noodle Shop Mysteries. I’m not usually much of a cover person, but these just look delicious, are bright, have a bit of humor, I think, with the soy sauce (?) pouring into the skull shape.

Dim Sum of All Fears is the second in the series. It could probably be read as a stand-alone, but I’m glad I read the first beforehand. It gives you a better picture of the family relationships and the people at the Asia Village shopping center.

This time around, a good, if new, friend of Lana’s has been murdered, along with her husband. Turns out there was a lot Lana didn’t know about the couple, but still wants to see the killer brought to justice. Since their success in solving the last crime, she and her roommate, Megan, decide that they need to do some digging around. There are several suspects, turns out the husband was not only a gambler but a bit of a womanizer. Adding to Lana’s stress is the fact that her parents have gone to Taiwan, leaving her in charge of the restaurant.

The mystery is well-done with plenty of clues and lies and potentially false alibis. Lana’s investigative skills are definitely improving and Megan’s help is invaluable.

Lana’s a fun character, late-20s and not quite sure what to do with her life. She’s not rich, not a great cook, she’s a regular person. The one thing that annoyed me was her almost-relationship with the detective. The chemistry is not quite working and I wish they would either get together or move on, this not quite friends, not quite a couple thing is awkward. And the fact that Lana doesn’t trust him to solve the case and doesn’t share what she knows until she has no choice allows her to solve the mystery but seems to be a potential roadblock to them becoming an actual couple.

Overall, this series if fun. The Asian Village is an interesting and I enjoy spending time with Lana and her friend and family. It’s funny and light. No food to share this time though. I can’t seem to find a restaurant near me that actually has Dim Sum. I did have donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts last night though. They’re one of Lana’s favorites, which may be why I keep wanting them lately.

About Vivien Chien

Vivien Chien

Vivien Chien first started writing simple stories about adventures with her classmates when she was in elementary school. As she grew up, her love of books and the written word increased, leading to the attempt of her first novel at age 16. After many struggled beginnings and several different genres, she found her passion in the mystery world.

When she’s not writing, she can be found frolicking in the bookstore or searching for her next bowl of noodles. She has a soft spot for doughnuts, a healthy love for coffee, and an extreme need to participate in random acts of crafting.

She currently lives in Cleveland where she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier.

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