Misfortune Cookie by Vivien ChienMisfortune Cookie by Vivien Chien
Series: Noodle Shop Mystery #9
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on June 27, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
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They say fortune favors the bold, and Lana Lee is determined to prove that true.

Lana, now officially manager of her family’s restaurant, the Ho-Lee Noodle House, is headed to sunny Irvine, California to attend a restaurant convention with her sister, Anna May, along for the ride. The girls’ very Americanized Aunt Grace has asked them to stay in her posh rental, and as the trip begins, it seems to be just what they both needed. Even the restaurant convention proves to be worthwhile and entertaining, especially when Lana witnesses a dramatic cat fight between a fortune cookie vendor and a journalist.

Lana and Anna May can’t imagine things getting any better until they learn their aunt has yet another surprise in store for them―a swanky cocktail party hosted for the freelancers of Southern California. But on the night of the party, things go south when a close journalist friend of Grace’s mysteriously plunges from the roof top of the hotel. Even more suspicious is the fact that Aunt Grace’s friend is the same journalist Lana saw getting into a screaming match with the fortune cookie vendor at the convention.

The police rule the death a gruesome accident, but Aunt Grace refuses to accept that explanation and begs Lana for her help uncovering the truth. Lana, Anna May, Aunt Grace attempt to keep up appearances as they search for answers, but unwanted attention from suspicious colleagues and convention attendees starts to surface, causing Lana to wonder if they’ll find the killer in time…or if they’ll be the next ones pushed over the edge.

Lana and her sister Anna May are visiting their Aunt Grace while attending a food expo. While visiting, they become involved in another murder investigation. The dead woman was their aunt’s best friend, and Lana is determined to find the truth, especially if she thinks her aunt is in danger of being a suspect or the next victim.

On the one hand, it was nice to see Lana get away from Cleveland. Too many people were dying around Asia Village. It was also nice to have Anna May and Aunt Grace helping Lana out. Anna May and Lana don’t always get along well and it was nice to see them at least trying to work together. And Lana is her usual curious, funny, sarcastic self.

On the other hand, I prefer Lana at home. I like her surrounded by her friends and family. I miss her sidekick, Megan, and her dog. The mystery was fine, with several suspects, good clues, and a few red herrings, but it was just missing the spark that makes this series so good.

Misfortune Cookie does probably work as a stand-alone. The mystery’s self-contained and only Lana and her sister are carried over from previous books, but it doesn’t give the best taste of the series.

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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