The third in a tasty series, Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien is a delight!
Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.
Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .
Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .
“Thoroughly entertaining...fun and delicious.”—RT Book Reviews
The third A Noodle Shop Mystery
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. Lana Lee has taken over management of the Ho-Lee Noodle House from her mother who is now focused on Lana’s grandmother whom the parents brought with them to the United States after their last visit. Lana hopes to garner attention for the restaurant by their winning Cleveland’s Best Noodles contest which is being held at Asia Village. Unfortunately, one of the judges is killed at the Bamboo Lounge which, of course, has people avoiding the karaoke bar. Penny, the owner, is worried what will happen if business does not improve soon. Lana sets out to find the killer despite being warned to stay out of it by her boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau. 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.