St. Martin's Press | March 2018 | 352 pgs
Source: Library

This is the first book of A Noodle Shop Mystery series featuring our 27-year-old protagonist, Lana Lee, and her family-owned restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House set in an Asian community in Cleveland, Ohio. 

To begin with, Lana hasn't wanted to work at her family restaurant but after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she has decided that working as a server at the restaurant would help pay the bills and for putting her life back together. The restaurant business is going on well until Thomas Feng, the restaurant's property manager, was found dead after eating their shrimp dumplings. Thomas has shellfish allergy and everyone on staff knew about it; after all he was their regular customer. Now the head chef, Peter, and Lana are under suspect since she is the one who delivered the order to Thomas. To clear their name and to find out the killer, Lana decides to do some little investigation together with her roommate, Megan Riley. 

Police detective Adam Trudeau is meticulous and never leave any stone unturned. When he knew that Lana is investigating the case, he is annoyed yet he couldn't deny his attraction towards her despite they got on the wrong foot the first time they met and that she is on his suspect list. Lana, on the other hand, has her ways of digging information since she knew almost everyone in the community and she would not let Trudeau get in her way even if it means putting herself in danger. 

I've to admit I rarely read cozy mysteries but this was quite a fun read. I enjoyed reading about the cast of characters, including Lana's black pug, Kikkoman, who is named after a soy sauce's brand. The setting was interesting as it surrounds the restaurant and the Asian community, thus allowing the reader to get a feel of the Chinese culture and how their daily livelihood is like. Lana was an interesting character; she is an Eurasian with an English father and a Chinese mother and what makes her stand out is her lively personality. Plot-wise, it was mostly focused on Lana's investigations but of course the intensity wasn't as much as compared to a suspense thriller considering this is a cozy mystery but it still kept me engaged and like Lana, I wanted to find out the identity of the killer. All in all this was a good start of a new series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Lana and Trudeau in the next book, Dim Sum of All Fears

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16 Responses
  1. Mystica Says:

    The setting of the restaurant and the Asian community would certainly add interest to the mystery.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Cozy mysteries aren’t really my thing either. I love when a genre you don’t usually read ends up surprising you.

  3. Melody Says:

    Mystica - Yes, that's one of the draw of this story and I enjoyed reading about it.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I notice cozy mysteries usually have a certain theme for a series and I've to admit I was drawn to this one because it features a Chinese eatery. :)

  5. Lark Says:

    The title alone totally made me laugh. I don't read a lot of cozies either, but when they're done well they can be a lot of fun. :)

  6. Kay Says:

    I saw the author at the Malice Domestic Mystery conference in the spring. She had the most beautiful hair - black but with green or blue highlighted (can't remember which). I heard her at the 'new author' breakfast. Thanks for reminding me about this book. I thought it sounded good then and I do now too!

  7. jenclair Says:

    I rarely read cozy mysteries either, but sometimes they are just what I need. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  8. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Melody! I want to read it. I have a copy of the second book and want to read this one first.

  9. Verushka Says:

    I have been wanting to read this for ages, but haven't seen reviews yet so I am glad to find yours -- and that it is such a good read!

  10. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm glad I read this one. And as I mentioned, I was intrigued by the Chinese eatery setting since I rarely come across one in the books I read.

  11. Melody Says:

    Kay - How exciting to be able to meet so many authors at the conference. I'm sure you'd had fun, Kay! I hope you'll enjoy reading this book if you get to it.

  12. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - It was a refreshing break. Now I need to find more cozy mysteries. :)

  13. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you read it, Wendy. :)

  14. Melody Says:

    Verushka - I enjoyed it! I'm hoping my library has the second installment of this series soon.

  15. Iliana Says:

    I don't read a lot of cozies either but this sounds fun. Had to laugh about her pup's name :)

  16. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I'll certainly follow this cozy series. I'm hoping the next book will be this fun, too.

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