Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien

Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien

I love that Lana decides to take Chinese cooking classes without letting her family know. It just feels so in character. And of course, her teacher would end up dead, killed after the first class. Lana found the body, so is apparently the number one suspect, even though she didn't know Margo Chan. Lana has to find the real killer before the detective on the case decides she's guilty. Aside from finding the body, Lana doesn't have much of a connection to the case, which makes her "snooping" a little awkward. Why do the people she questions tell her anything, aside from her reputation maybe? And why does Detective Bishop seem so convinced Lana's guilty? The plot fits together well, although the solution is a little weak. Lana is a fun character, smart, a little reckless, caring. Her usual Watson is her roommate Megan, who was working a bit too much this time around, leaving Lana with another friend, Kimmy, as...
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Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien

Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien

I have to admit that one of the reasons I like the Noodle Shop mystery series is that it's set in Cleveland. One of these days, maybe next summer, I'm going to get up there for a Night Market or maybe take a food tour. We've done a lot of the touristy things, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the museums, the zoo, but haven't made it to the Asiatown neighborhood yet. Lana is the manager of her family's restaurant in Asia Village, a shopping complex. Lana's a great main character, fun, smart and a bit sassy. Yes, she does almost always manage to put herself in danger - she is a cozy mystery sleuth after all. This time around, there's been another murder at Asia Village. The dead woman, Mildred, was not well-liked, cheated at Mah Jong, and was sue-happy. When she's killed at the hair salon, the obvious suspect is her most recent enemy, June. And honestly...
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Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chien

Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chien

I actually don't read many foodie cozy mysteries, but the Noodle Shop Mysteries are an exception. First, I do love Chinese restaurant food. When I was pregnant, we ate at the same Chinese restaurant in the mall that the woman who owned it gave us a baby present. Second, it takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, and I always enjoy it when a story is set somewhere I've been and Amber's college is about 30 minutes away. Third, Lana's a good character and her family is a hoot. Lana's first catering job is going well - until the murder of course. Donna Feng, a long-time friend of the Lee family, is clearly the most likely suspect to have killed her nanny, but she asks Lana to help prove her innocence by figuring out who the killer actually was. This is Lana's fifth "investigation" but this time she may be in over her head. I do think this would work as a stand-alone,...
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Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien

Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien

Lana Lee is working at the noodle shop's stand at the Night Market when the pleasant summer evening is disrupted by an explosion of one of the food trucks. The owner of the truck is killed in the explosion. His wife suffered some minor burns, but the police are suspicious that she may have something to do with the bomb, possibly for the insurance money. Lana and her roommate Megan decide to investigate, in part because Lana's curious, but the wife is one of her mom's friends and her mom is upset. It seems like most of the Asian community in Cleveland know each other and/or have mutual acquaintances, which makes gathering information easier, but trying to do it without attracting notice difficult. I've been reading this series in order and enjoying it. Lana's relationships with her family is great. They love each other, but that doesn't mean they always get along. And Lana's aunt is in town, adding a whole nother...
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Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien

Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien

This is the third installment in the Noodle Shop Mystery series. Lana Lee is now managing her family's restaurant in the Asia Village plaza, but of course nothing's ever quiet in her life. There's a noodle competition taking place and Peter, the chef at Ho-Lee Noodle House is one of the competitors. Then one of the judges is killed and Lana and Megan decide they need to investigate, after all they have experience now. The mystery was well-done. The first victim had several enemies, he was a bit of a jerk. But when a second judge is killed, it becomes more confusing. Lana's questioning at times becomes a bit pushy in this one, and I got a little tired of everyone telling her she should keep out of it, as if she didn't know it already. Amateur detectives know they should leave it up to the cops, but just can't. And she has a bad habit of getting caught alone...
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Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien

Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien

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...
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