Death by Dumpling

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By Vivien Chien; reviewed by Jeannette Hartman

Dumplings at the Ho-Lee Noodle House are generally considered delicious — not deadly.
But when Thomas Feng, part owner of Cleveland’s Asia Village shopping plaza, is discovered dead at his desk, the police believe he had a fatal allergic reaction to the shrimp in the dumpling that Lana Lee had personally delivered.
But everyone at the Ho-Lee Noodle House, indeed all of Asia Village, knew about Mr. Feng’s shellfish allergy. And Lana saw his Epi-Pen in his pocket when she put his order on his desk. The police say no pen was found.
Gossip and rumor spread like spilled soy sauce around Asia Village. Mr. Feng was heard arguing with a sobbing woman. Mr. Feng was heard arguing with Peter Huang, the head cook at Ho-Lee Noodle House. Lana herself overheard an argument between Mr. Feng and Kimmy Tran as she delivered Mr. Feng’s food.
Kimmy tells Lana that Mr. Feng is planning to raise the rents, which could drive her parents’s video store out of business. “He’s a jerk and he’s selfish and someone has got to stop him before he runs us all out of here,” Kimmy says.
Charles An, owner of the Painted Pearl, a Chinese art store, already has going-out-of-business signs in his windows.
And then there’s the stern Detective Adam Trudeau. Even Lana, who’s been sour on men since a particularly nasty break-up, can’t deny he’s handsome. But when he stays focused on Peter, whom Lana has known for decades, she realizes she needs to do some investigating on her own.
Author Vivien Chien is breaking new ground in the world of cozy mysteries with this book.  It’s not just that Lana Lee is Asian-American; she’s also spunky, intrepid and a millennial. Chien has crafted a totally credible story with a host of suspects. Lana is an engaging heroine whom you’ll want to follow in the other books of this series:
  • MURDER LO MEIN (2019)
  • WONTON TERROR (2019)
  • EGG DROP DEAD (2020)
  • KILLER KUNG PAO (2020)
  • FATAL FRIED RICE (March 2021)
  • HOT AND SOUR SUSPECTS (August 2021)

If you have a yen for cozy mysteries with Asian characters, check out VERA WONG’S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS.

About the Author: Vivien Chien (1981 – )

Vivien Chien first started writing stories in elementary school By the time she was 16, she was attempting her first novel. After struggling through several beginning and experimenting with different genres, she found her home in the world of mysteries.

While attending a Sisters in Crime mystery writers conference, Vivien was approached by an agent who told her a publisher was looking for an Asian-American mystery series. She decided to put forth her sole, unpublished novel.

It was accepted by St. Martin’s Press. DEATH BY DUMPLING was published in 2018.

Her favorite part of writing is creating and developing characters, especially in a book series where the characters evolve through multiple books

She loves books stories, noodles, doughnuts, coffee and “random acts of crafting.”

Vivien was born and raised in Cleveland by a Taiwanese mother and an Italian-American father. She spent more time around her Chinese family after her parents divorced. (She writes under her mother’s maiden name.) Now in her late 30s, Vivien lives in Cleveland with her toy fox terrier and is working on the next book in the Noodle Shop mystery series.

#vivienchien.  #deathbydumpling  #jeannettehartman


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