Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228301
ISBN-13: 978-1250228307
Kindle ASIN: B084F9217G

Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle?

Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved.

June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

What starts with a crash ends with a sizzle and Lana Lee finds herself involved in another murder mystery.

Headed home for a quiet weekend with her handsome detective Lana witnesses an accident in the parking lot of Cleveland’s Asia Village. There is no love lost between June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, and Lana, in fact, she tries to avoid June at all costs so when she sees June back straight into Mildred “Millie” Mao Cadillac she tries to make herself invisible. When their argument escalates and the police arrive Lama is going to have at least give a statement about what she saw. She just hopes that the end of her involvement.

But then both women show up at the hair salon at the same time as Lana. Praying the women stay separated and oblivious to each other’s presence isn’t too much to ask, is it? But it is not meant to be. Shortly after they see each other, the lights go out and when they come back on, Millie is dead and June is the prime suspect. When June’s sister asks Lana to help clear her sister of the crime Lana is forced to say yes, even though she thinks June really could be the killer.

This series continues to be a favorite. I really enjoy the characters. This time we get to know the Majong Matrons that come to the Ho-Lee Noodle House every morning for breakfast. They always seem to know the latest gossip but this time two of the matrons were at the salon right before the murder occurred. Again Lana teams up with her roommate Megan to do a little sleuthing. I really enjoy their relationship and how well they know each other. I also love the way Lana’s relationship with boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau continues to grow. Ms. Chien has created a strong cast of core characters that continue to develop more in each story plus she gives us truly interesting new characters in each book for us to like and dislike too.

The mystery this time was quite puzzling, especially because anyone present in the salon could have done the deed. The investigation takes Lana from one end of town to the other and she ruffles a few feathers along the way. I was totally twisted up in my thinking by the time everything was revealed.

Killer Kung Pao was a fun read. The current mystery wrapped up but there are lingering threads yet to be addressed. You know Lana is going to stumble into another mystery so I am very excited about Fatal Fried Rice hitting my Kindle in March. I  recommend the entire series to all cozy mystery lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here, 
Dim Sum of All Fears here,
Murder Lo Mein here, Wonton Terror here, and Egg Drop Dead here

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)

Coming March 9, 2021

*This was from my private collection.