Book Review

Murder Lo Mein

Murder Lo Mein

  • Author: Vivien Chien
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Publication Date: June 12, 2019
  • Publisher: JournalStone LLC
  • Series: A Noodle Shop Mystery #3

CONTENT WARNING: death

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first.

I enjoy this series, and have listened to the first 3 books on audiobook narrated by Cheryl May. So far, this series has been getting stronger in my opinion. 

I’ve gotten more invested in the characters and the setting, with Lana and her little crew becoming more well-developed and growing throughout the course of the series. Things are heating up between Lana and her boyfriend, which kind of seemed like it wasn’t going anywhere in earlier books. I was glad to see that things started moving along in this book, because I was about to give up hope on the two of them. Especially when another guy appeared in this book that seemed to have better chemistry with Lana. But … I had to trust the process, you know?

The mystery part of the story is getting better as well — in this book the motive was less predictable, with there being several good choices of suspects, and each of them have credible motive, making it difficult to predict who the real villain was. I was kept guessing the whole time, often thinking I knew who the killer was, only to change my mind a chapter or two later. 

My only suggestion is, to make sure that you read this on a full stomach. Preferably after eating the best Chinese food that you can find. Because the way the food is described in this book, and it’s described frequently, had me practically drooling. It is a series about a Noodle House, and this book focuses on a cooking contest. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 3

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