Review: Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

Review: Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

Published by St. Martin's Press on March 27, 2018
Series: Noodle Shop Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Format: Print
Source: Purchased

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Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien is a charming cozy mystery that kept me guessing and left me smiling at the end.

First of all, how many cozy mysteries can you name off the top of your head that feature an Asian heroine? Go ahead, I’ll wait. If you’re like me, you sadly couldn’t think of any…until the Noodle Shop Mystery series! 🎉

Lana Lee didn’t plan on working at her parents’ Chinese restaurant, but that’s where she finds herself after going through a tough breakup and quitting her corporate job. Lana spends her days waiting tables and dodging her mother’s matchmaking attempts.

But Lana finds herself going into detective mode when the owner of Asia Village, Mr. Feng, dies unexpectedly. Lana is horrified to learn that Mr. Feng suffered a fatal allergic reaction to shellfish–right after Lana delivered Mr. Feng’s order of dumplings, which she knew for a fact were shrimp-free. How could this have happened? Who would want to kill Mr. Feng? It’s up to Lana and her BFF Megan to find out.

I got some serious Nancy Drew/Harriet the Spy vibes from Lana, which I absolutely loved. She’s the definition of a plucky, sassy heroine. The murder mystery itself kept me guessing–I thought I had figured out who the killer was, but of course I ended up being surprised.

Most of all, I am super excited to have found a cozy mystery series featuring an Asian-American cast of characters. I thoroughly enjoyed Death by Dumpling and look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Rating: 5 stars


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