Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07WF36RHJ
In the fifth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delectable mystery series, Egg Drop Dead, the Ho-Lee Noodle House takes its business to the next level—only to end up in hot water.
It was supposed to be a fancy, intimate dinner party by the pool. Instead, Lana Lee’s first-ever catering event turns into full-course madness when a domestic worker is found dead. Is the party’s host Donna Feng, the sweet-and-sour owner of the Asia Village shopping plaza where Ho-Lee is situated, somehow to blame? That’s what Lana—whose plate is already plenty full with running the restaurant, pleasing her often-disapproving mother, and fretting over her occasionally-serious boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau—must find out.
Before the police arrived at the crime scene, Donna had entrusted an odd piece of evidence to Lana: a thumb drive shaped like a terra-cotta soldier. Now it’s up to Lana to lead her own investigation, digitally and in real life, into a world of secrets involving Donna’s earlier life in China, whether the victim had a dark agenda, and if the killer is still out there. . .and plans to strike again.
Business is slow at the Ho-Lee Noodle House so Lana Lee has decided to branch out into catering. Her first client is a family friend, Donna Feng who hires Lana to cater her birthday party. The party is interrupted when the nanny fails to keep Donna’s two teenage daughters busy and out of sight. Donna loudly voices her displeasure. When the nanny is later found dead in the pool Donna becomes the prime suspect. This isn’t Donna’s first entanglement with the police. She was also on the suspect list recently when her husband was murdered (Death By Dumpling). Donna entrusts Lana with a unique thumb drive and asks her to find the real killer.
I like Lana Lee more and more as I read each story. She is smart, and her sleuthing skills are improving, but she is still a little wishy-washy at times. She needs to think a little more before she leaps into what can turn out to be dangerous situations. This time boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is not in charge of the murder case but that doesn’t deter her determination. She is aided by friend/roommate Megan and when the killer turns up the heat, a private investigator is hired at Lana’s request. The secondary characters are all well developed too while still giving them room to grow. I love the family dynamic of the Lee family.
The mystery is full of twists. Being linked back to Donna’s life in China gave the story more depth. Donna had theories she wanted Lana to investigate and while reading I had some theories of my own. The story wrapped up surprising me and with plenty of excitement. Ms. Chien takes us on a wild ride.
Egg Drop Dead has a great cast of characters, a very intriguing mystery, with a bit of romance and humor in all the right places. This is such an entertaining series. I hope to buy, read, and review Killer Kung Pao soon so I am ready when Fatal Fried Rice releases on March 9, 2021.
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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, 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.”