#Review – Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien

Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250129154



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 helping 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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While not a fan of Chinese food, this cover caught my attention, plus it was the first book in a new series so I added to my Kindle immediately.

Lana Lee has grown up working in her mother’s restaurant but never expected to back working there now. Her mother is quite pleased because having her close means she can work on finding Lana a husband. That is the last thing on Lana’s mind.

The restaurant is part of the Asia Village. A plaza that is part of the original Chinatown area on the east side of Cleveland. It is managed by Mr. Feng, who orders lunch from the Ho-Lee Noodle House all the time. The staff knows his dietary restrictions by heart. So when the man is found dead in his office right after finishing his Ho-Lee dumplings everyone is in shock. The chef becomes the #1 suspect and Lana decides she needs to be the one to serve up the real killer. That is if they don’t kill her first.

Ms. Chien has cooked up a great start for this Noodle Mystery Series. A fresh new idea bringing the Asian culture to cozy readers.

The staff at Ho-Lee Noodle House are family. They have known and worked together for years. The same can be said of most of the store owners in the plaza. The author does an excellent job of introducing the cast and the connections to each other. She also introduces Lana’s roommate/friend, Megan Riley, Detective Trudeau and Lana’s dog Kikko. They are an eclectic cast of characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

The book had a good pace, my finger was swiping the pages rapidly. Twists and turns, and drama that took us to some unexpected places. Lana was a determined sleuth, no matter how many times Detective Trudeau told her to leave the investigation to him. The author took us on a delightful journey to catch the killer with some hard to figure out clues.

I found the setting very interesting and enjoyed learning how the plaza had evolved over the years and how it was the heart of this community.

An entertaining cozy. Mystery, humor and just a bit of romance served up with noodles and dumplings on the side. Vivien Chien has brought a fresh voice to this genre and I am hungry for more. I have marked my calendar, Dim Sum of All Fears will be released August 28. 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Vivien Chien was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing the Noodle Shop mysteries, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

3 thoughts on “#Review – Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien

  1. I do like Chinese food and when I was younger we used to go to Chinatown in NYC so I was glad to see this on the shelf at the library. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the second book. It’s hard finding cozies with an unusual twist

  2. Thank you for your review on “Death by Dumpling: by Vivien Chien. It has sure had me adding this book to my TBR list.

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