Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery by Jess Dylan #Review


Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250769515
ISBN-13: 978-1250769510
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8Y79B

The first in a sweet and colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, Death in Bloom introduces flower shop owner Sierra Ravenswood.

At the Flower House, every rose has its thorn . . .

Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It’s true she didn’t expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight years old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she’s just grateful to have found a soft place to land.

Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she’s sure she won’t have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it’s discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.

The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can’t fix. She’s determined to figure out whodunit before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sierra Ravenswood had hopes of being a singer known across the country but that didn’t happen so she is back home in Aerieville working part-time at The Flower House as she decides what she wants to do with her life next. The eccentric owner of the place has taken off to places unknown and left her the ownership of the shop just as he was scheduled to lead a workshop on flower arranging. Sierra decides to go ahead with the class and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves until one of the participants keels over dead. Sierra assumes the man had a heart attack but soon learns he was poisoned by one of the treats on the snack table. This means everyone at the workshop is a suspect including Sierra.

Trying to decide what she wants to do with The Flower House takes a backseat to finding a killer especially after the store and its greenhouse are vandalized. She is also the new owner of her boss’s Corgi puppy named Gus. Her life is not taking an expected turn but her optimistic nature will not let her back down while Death is in Bloom.


As soon as I saw the cover of this book I wanted to read it. My grandmother had a garden that encompassed most of her lawn with just grass walkways. This cover made me think of her and just brought back so many wonderful memories are spending time in those gardens and learning about flowers from my grandmother.

I really enjoyed meeting Sierra. Many people would have fallen apart by everything she had to handle in this story but she is a strong woman who took it all in stride with only some minor breaks. Her daily affirmations were uplighting both for her and this reader.

Sierra’s family was mostly supportive She really drew strength from Granny Mae. That woman is extraordinary in many ways and a great resource for Sierra. I enjoyed that she reconnected with an old friend, Deena, and made a new friend in Calvin. All the characters felt true to life. Everyone really worked together to keep the shop going and sleuth out clues. I am anxious to see how the characters and their relationships develop as this series continues.

I was taken in by the history of The Flower House and the town of Aerieville. The author added some nice depth to the story with the backgrounds she provided readers and her descriptions of each place she took us within the pages of this book.

The mystery was well done especially for the first book in a series. I always say the first book in a series is a heavy life because the author needs to give readers a great mystery while introducing core characters with enough background to get us invested in their lives. Ms. Dylan did an admirable job at both. I do wish we had gotten to know some of the suspects better so motives would have been more evident.  I was able to solve the mystery way before the reveal but I was totally entertained by the entire story.

Death in Bloom has set this series off to a blooming start. I want to visit Sierra, her friends, family, and The Flower House again soon.


About the Author

JESS DYLAN is an environmental attorney by day and author by night. As Jennifer David Hesse, she wrote the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, a cozy series, with Kensington Publishing. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jess now makes her home in Chicago with her musician husband, college-bound teen, and high-spirited Corgi. In her spare time, Jess enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and movie night with her family.

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.”

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #23 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to New Mexico and a couple more states!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


There’s A Murder Afoot: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
Release Date – January 7, 2020
Setting – London, England
My Flashback Friday Read – My Review


Deadly Delights: A Bookish Baker Mystery
by Laura Jensen Walker
Release Date – June 8, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review will be up sometime this week. 


Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery
by Jess Dylan
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Tennessee
My Review will be up Thursday.


Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series
by Tonya Kappes
Release Date – May 25, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
My Flashback Friday Read
and my book for the June Alphabet Soup Mini Challenge.

Scheduled Escapes


Guilt is Midnight Blue: A Hazel Dean Mystery
by Josalyn McAllister
Release Date – May 5, 2021
Setting – Small Appalachian Town
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton
Release Date – May 13, 2021
Setting – New Mexico
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!

Plus I need to select a Flashback Friday book.

Future Escapes

June 6 – 12, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #22 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to London, Wisconsin, and Tennessee!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Wedding Day and Foul Play
by Duffy Brown
Release Day – February 17, 2021
Setting – Georgia
My Flashback Friday Read – My Review


Cat Me If You Can (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
by Miranda James
Release Date – August 25, 2020
Setting – North Carolina
My Review will be up tomorrow!


The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
by Krista Davis
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Virginia
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Alabama
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!

Current Escape


There’s A Murder Afoot: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
Release Date – January 7, 2020
Setting – London, England
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Deadly Delights: A Bookish Baker Mystery
by Laura Jensen Walker
Release Date – June 8, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
For Review


Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery
by Jess Dylan
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Tennessee
For Review

Future Escapes

May 30 – June 5, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #20 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Rhode Island and Oregon!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
by Kylie Logan
Release Date – May 11, 2021
Setting – Ohio
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
The Great Escapes Tour stops here for Cozy Wednesday this week!


Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait
Release Date – May 14, 2021
Setting – Kenya
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!

Current Escape


Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
Release Date – August 25, 2020
Setting – Alabama
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Imagine Summer: A Novel
by Shelley Noble
Release Date – May 11, 2021
Setting – Rhode Island
For Review


Pint of No Return (Shake Shop Mystery)
by Dana Mentink
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Oregon
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!

I need to select my Flashback Friday Read! 

Future Escapes

May 16 – May 22, 2021 


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #19 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Ohio, Wisconsin and Kenya!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery)
by Vicki Delany
Release Date – Massachusetts
My Flashback Friday Read!
Plus May Mini Challenge for Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.
My Review


Deadly Ever After – A Lighthouse Library Mystery
by Eva Gates
Release Date – May 11, 2021
Setting – North Carolina
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard
Release Date – May 11, 2021
Setting – Georgia
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!

Scheduled Escapes

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
by Kylie Logan
Release Date – May 11, 2021
Setting – Ohio
For Review


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton
Release Date – May 25, 2021
Setting – Wisconsin
The Great Escapes Tour stops here for Cozy Wednesday next week!


Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait
Release Date – May 14, 2021
Setting – Kenya
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

May 9 – May 15, 2021 


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250782597
ISBN-13: 978-1250782595
Kindle ASIN: B08BYC415B

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in Vivien Chien’s Fatal Fried Rice…

Lana Lee runs her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village like nobody’s business. When it comes to actual cooking, however, she’s known to be about a step up from boiling rice. So Lana decides to go to culinary school on the sly—and prove that she has what it takes in the kitchen after all. But when course instructor Margo Chan turns up dead after class, Lana suddenly finds herself on the case, frying pan in hand.

Since she was the one who discovered the body, Lana must do double duty in finding the killer and clearing her name. Now, with or without the help of her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana launches her own investigation into Margo’s life and mysterious death. Doing so leads her on a wild goose chase to and from the culinary school—and all the way back to the Ho-Lee noodle shop, where the guilty party may be closer than Lana thinks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know it’s hard to believe but Lana Lee, manager of her family’s Ho-Lee Noodle Shop can’t cook much of anything, not even the Chinese food she eats and sells on a daily basis. Now she wants to change that and surprise her friends and family. She has signed up for a night class in Chinese cooking at the local community college. The first class went okay, the instructor demonstrated fried rice. In the next class, the students will get to make the recipe themselves. Lana is on her way home when she realizes she forgot to pick up the ingredient list for the upcoming class so she quickly turns around hoping to get back to the classroom before the instructor leaves. Well, the instructor is still there but she won’t be teaching any more classes. Someone has killed her and Lana being the one to find her ends up in ho water as a prime suspect.

Lana has helped solve cases before but they were in her boyfriend Detective Adm Trudeau’s jurisdiction. The detective on the case sure doesn’t want her help especially because he believes Lana is guilty. So having no choice she must investigate to clear her name. It’s no easy task but she can’t give up. Even when the killer may turn the tables on Lana. Will she be able to survive or will she be fatally fried.

_____

I can’t believe we are already 7 books into this series. Each time I open a book it is like catching up with old friends. All the characters are wonderful. Lana continues to grow. I enjoyed that she used a little restraint when she found the body but after that, she makes some risky choices including taking Kimmy Tran with her to snoop when her best friend and roommate Megan wasn’t available but it sure made for some funny moments. I do really like the closeness of the Lee family and their traditions like their Sunday dim sum dinners.

The mystery this time was a definite change because Adam wasn’t involved and Lana knew nothing about the victim. She was able to draw some information from her usual sources but she put on a lot of miles trying to track down clues. I hate lazy detectives and the one in charge of the murder was definitely lazy trying to make his case fit what had already decided. Ms. Chien plotted out a  story that kept the protagonist on her toes and this reader guessing right up until the exciting reveal.

The author does a great job of setting every scene whether it be the noodle shop, Megan and Lana’s apartment, the bar where Megan works, or the community college. It is so easy to visualize every place Lana goes. The little subplot of Lana updating the decor of the restaurant is so funny. Her mother tells her to do whatever she wants but then pans all her ideas.

I totally enjoyed this story. Well-plotted and written with engaging characters. Fatal Fried Rice checks all my cozy boxes. I am so excited for book 8, Hot and Sour Suspects.

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, Egg Drop Dead here, and Killer Kung Pao 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 August 24

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.”

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #10 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to New York, New Hampshire, and Georgia!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
by Vivien Chien
Release Date – March 9, 2021
Setting – Ohio
My Review will be up tomorrow. 

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
Release Date – February 23, 2021
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Wednesday!


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette
Release Date – March 2, 2021
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


In the Drink (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
by Allyson K. Abbott
Release Date – July 28, 2015
Setting – Wisconsin
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Win
by Harlan Coben
Release Date – March 16, 2021
Setting – New York
For Review


Hop ‘Til You Drop (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
by J.M. Griffin
Release Date – March 9, 2021
Setting – New Hampshire
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery
by Olivia Matthews
Release Date – March 23, 2021
Setting – Georgia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

March 7 – 13, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #9 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Ohio and New York!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
Release Date – March 2, 2021
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here for Cozy Wednesday this week.


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer
Release Date – February 15, 2021
Setting – Nebraska
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets: A Down South Cafe Mystery
by Gayle Leeson
Release Date – September 18, 2020
Setting – Virginia
My Flashback Friday Read! 

Scheduled Escapes


Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
by Vivien Chien
Release Date – March 9, 2021
Setting – Ohio
For Review

Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico
Release Date – February 23, 2021
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette
Release Date – March 2, 2021
Setting – Ohio
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

February 28 – March 6, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review @StMartinsPress @BakeshopMystery


Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1250214386
ISBN-13: 978-1250214386
Kindle ASIN: B089RZS1NJ

Pastry chef and amateur sleuth Juliet Capshaw finds herself on thin ice as she attempts to solve her latest case of small-town murder in Ellie Alexander’s Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery.

The deep freeze has thawed in Ashland, Oregon and Torte is gearing up for a busy spring. When a surprise opportunity to launch a pop-up ice cream shop comes her way, Jules jumps at the chance to showcase Torte’s signature iced drinks and cold custards. But selling the desserts of her dreams comes at a price. . .and, before she knows it, Jules’s life swirls into a nightmare. One of the town’s most colorful characters, a street performer known for wearing capes and a cone-shaped hat, turns up dead just as Torte 2.0 is set to open its doors. Can Jules get the scoop on what happened to “The Wizard” of Ashland before her new business venture reaches a chilling conclusion?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Torte is growing again. This time across town in a pop-up space. Scoops will feature Torte’s signature iced drinks and frozen concrete custards as Andy and Sterling take their delicious creations to the new venue. The place needs some updating but the Torte crew is up to the task. That is until The Wizard, one of Ashland’s colorful characters known for his cape and cone-shaped hat, usually seen riding his bike is killed near the new pop-up shop.  The murder gives Jules the chills but with a little help, she is confident she can take the killer down.


I am so excited that I finally got all caught up on this series and was able to read this book the day it was released.

Chilled to the Cone takes us back to Ashland as the busy season is about to take off. All the characters I have come to love are back and Spring seems to be a time of romance for several. I was pleased to see Carlos in town and that he and Jules are working on their relationship. It has reached the time for them to make some hard decisions. I also enjoyed how Andy and Sterling are growing in their jobs at Torte. The way Jules and her mom encourage their employees is really satisfying. The staff truly is an extended family and each person is valued for their unique talents and personalities. Lance and Jules continue to lean on each other and join in a little sleuthing. They are a fun team. All the characters have really grown over the course of the series in realistic ways but there’s still room for future growth.

Ms. Alexander gives readers a nice mystery with plenty of suspects and twists and turns. Several characters were involved in trying to solve the murder. The killer was at the top of my personal suspect list but the motive didn’t completely lock in until the very end. They shared the spotlight with a couple of other viable individuals but this person never fell from my top spot. The way the mystery played out was very exciting and I was totally engaged from beginning to end.

The story was very well-plotted. The author takes on a theme of homelessness and mental illness in a way to bring awareness without detracting from the mystery.

As usual, the author tempts our taste buds with several food and drink descriptions. Thankfully we have a Culver’s here in town so I could satisfy my custard cravings with one of their concrete mixers. They have a wide variety of flavors but none as creative as Sterling’s.

Chilled to the Cone is a delightful addition to the Bakeshop Mystery Series. Ellie Alexander never disappoints. Her characters draw you in and the mysteries hold on tight.

The bad thing about being all caught up on this series is that I now have to wait for the next story to be released. Mocha, She Wrote will be released on June 29, 2021. But the author does have another series for me to investigate. The Sloan Krause Mysteries will be headed to my Kindle soon. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads


Coming June 29, 2021
Also by Ellie Alexander

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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.