Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250782619
ISBN-13 : 978-1250782618
Kindle ASIN : B08R2KGSH6
Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Vivien Chien’s Hot and Sour Suspects.
At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.
When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.
Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers—all of whom seem to have a motive.
As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly.
What can be hotter than a speed dating event held at the Ho-Lee Noodle House? Men and women searching for love with tempting Chinese food should mean fun and an uptick in business for Lana Lee’s family restaurant. It’s great until things go sour. First, an ex shows up to cause a scene, and later one of speed dating men is found murdered. A murder that hits close to home for Lana because the fatal date started at her event but also because her friend, Rina Su was the victim’s new date. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau catches the case but that is not going to stop Lana, Megan, and Kimmy from doing a little sleuthing of their own. Before all is said and done Lana may find herself staring in the face of a murderer. Will she be able to get herself out of hot water and sour the killer’s day? Or will this be the last we see of the beautiful Lana Lee?
I loved the speed dating theme of this story. It was great for Lana and Megan to do something together. I am surprised Lana’s traditional mother allowed the event to take place though in her beloved restaurant but she seemed to give the whole thing her blessing except for Lana’s shoes. “You will break your neck this way, Lana.”
Ms. Chien’s strong characters all return. This time Lana’s sister Anna May get a bit of a starring role when her romantic relationship comes into question. I have had a few questions of my own I wanted to be answered so I was very happy the author put some focus there. Kimmy gets her dander up when she thinks she is being left out of the investigation but Lana and Megan quickly show her some appreciation and include her on a sleuthing night out. While they may not find a lot of evidence or answers there are always some funny moments when Kimmy is around. All these characters feel genuine and I really enjoyed tagging along to every place they went.
The mystery was complicated by the victim having a very checkered past. He had left a lot of women, friends, neighbors, and newly made enemies in his wake. There were several paths to travel but I feel the author set a nice pace as the girls worked their way through the clues. Some nicely plotted twists led up to a surprising suspenseful ending. Darn, that Lana can sure get herself in trouble.
Hot and Sour Suspects was a fantastic read. I enjoyed every minute of it!
I for one am so happy this book came to fruition. The author has been through and continues to go through a harrowing journey fighting cancer. I know from personal experience what a body has to go through to wage that fight and her journey has been twice as hard as mine. Chemo brain is real and for her to find the ability to string words together is a monumental task. I am in awe. She calls this book a “labor of love” that followed her through so much and through it all she didn’t give up.
Her Author’s Note at the end of the book has such an uplifting message for everyone that reads it. She truly is a Cancer Warrior and I keep her in my prayers and send her healing thoughts every day. She is an inspiration for anyone facing “stupid jerkface cancer” or really anything else that can knock a person down. I am so happy she gets to continue her gift of storytelling with all of us. Keep fighting Vivien! We can wait for Lana to come out and play again. WE want you to stare down Cancer and kick its butt!
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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.”