Goodness! It seems like forever since I read a Cozy Mystery. Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien fills that empty spot in your reading agenda to bring likeable characters and a murder mystery that’s not at all gorey and that’s all the way fun.
Murder Lo Mein
Cute cover aside, Murder Lo Mein takes place in the interesting atmosphere of a mall. Lana Lee’s family restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House, is running for the coveted title of Best Noodles in Cleveland. Competing against other Chinese restaurants, Lana Lee’s family is all in and ready to win it.
Okay, so all this talk about food made me super hungry while reading this. I wanted to taste all of the dishes presented in the competition. I also totally related to the lead character Lana because of this:
“On top of my addiction to noodles and book buying, I had a weakness for doughnuts.”
Yes! totally relatable. Instant like. Girl, you speak my language!
The beginning sets the tone and the excitement of the competition and Lana’s mother’s total obsession for winning, and the drama of the snarky judge and spurned contestants from previous contests. It’s all ripe for murder motives I tell ya! The fact that any one of them could be a suspect really had me on my toes. There was one character who was obviously suspicious but the author wrote it in way that you could totally second guess yourself. I mean, Lana did… a lot.
One aspect that I wasn’t too excited about was the dynamic between Lana and her boyfriend Adam. Since this was my first book to read from the series I might have missed the connection and the familiarity, but for someone who comes into this new, like me, it could be a little confusing. There seemed to be no real chemistry between them. Adam, being a cop, was the cliche’ protective one who didn’t want Lana getting involved with cases (well duh), but he was a little to authoritative in that department. It wasn’t really romantic, and even in the story they say that they don’t really see each other a lot, so no romance building. So, it was a meh for me on that.
For an amateur sleuth perspective this one was fun to read. I really got to like all of Lana’s friends and the interesting stores that she is surrounded by. I would read more in this series, just to see what else could happen to poor Lana. Plus, give me all of the noodles!
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Murder Lo Mein
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. . .
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What are your favorite settings for Cozy Mysteries?