Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #3)
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien is the third A Noodle Shop Mystery.  Lana Lee is the manager of her family’s restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House in Asia Village.  The restaurant is participating in Cleveland’s Best Noodles contest which will be held at Asia Village.  Peter Huang, their chef, and Lana want to win this year.  They have come in second and third in the past, but they believe this is their year to take home the prize.  After the first round in the competition, Norman Pan—a judge and food critic—finds a fortune cookie next to his plate with a threatening message inside.  Later at the after party at the Bamboo Lounge, Norman is found face down in a bowl of noodles.  Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana’s boyfriend, is lead on the investigation and warns Lana to stay away from the case.  Lana, of course, has no intention of listening to Adam and immediately starts a list of potential suspects.  She soon discovers that Norman was not well-liked and gave critical food reviews (even to his own niece).  Lana visits each contestant’s restaurant to ask questions and look around for clues (a bonus is checking out the competitor’s food at the same time).  Then another judge receives a killer fortune and is later found dead in her hotel room.  Lana is piecing together the clues when she receives a forbidding fortune.  Will Lana be the killer’s next victim? 
Murder Lo Mein can be read as a standalone if you have not read the previous novels in A Noodle Shop Mystery series.  The author provides everything a new reader needs to know.  I enjoy the author’s casual writing style.  It makes for an easy to read story.  There are numerous suspects since the victim was obnoxious.  There is one, though, that stands out from the crowd. I liked that all the details of the mystery are wrapped up at the end of the book.  I did not appreciate the number of times Lana is told to not investigate and we are reminded that she is an amateur sleuth (I got it the first five times).  I did find there to be too many extraneous characters in this story.  It can be hard to keep track of all of them (do we need to know every shop owner in Asia Village).  There is a subplot involving Lana’s grandmother who does not speak English.  It turns out she was lonely back home and life is much livelier for her in Cleveland.  I found grandma to be a cute addition to the book.  The food descriptions will have your mouth watering.  Lana gets to eat a variety of dishes while digging into the suspects lives.  I hope we get see Lana start developing as an individual.  She is nearing thirty and it would be nice to see some maturity (less spaciness).  There is family drama, romance, friendship, food, a cute canine and a noodle contest in this new cozy mystery.   Murder Lo Mein is a light-hearted cozy mystery that left me craving Chinese food. 
The first two books in A Noodle Shop Mystery series are Death by Dumpling and Dim Sum of All Fears.  The next installment is Wonton Terror (great cover) which comes out August 27.  I want to thank you for visiting today.  I will be joining the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour tomorrow with my review of Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson.  Have a charming day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Dxexdd iino me dejo oca

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