Book Review: Fatal Fried Rice (A Noodle Shop Mystery #7) by Vivien Chien

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Pages: 320, mass market paperback
Source: NetGalley

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.

Fatal Fried Rice is the seventh installment in the Noodle House mystery series featuring Lana Lee. Lana has signed up for Asian cooking classes in order to surprise her coworkers and family. She discovers the body of her teacher and becomes one of the prime suspects after butting heads with the lead detective.

This is a stronger novel than Killer Kung Pao, the sixth in the series. Lana flails around much less in this book, and doesn’t jump to as many conclusions. In fact, she may jump to too few conclusions, leading her to land in trouble once again.

The plot in this one is a bit weaker than in other books, too, as is the killer’s motive. Lana once again disregards the advice of several of her friends, relying on her somewhat questionable instincts and luck to serve up the killer. Lana is a lot of fun to read about, though, as are her relationships with her friends, family, and Asian Village community. This may not be the life and career she chose, but she’s made it work for her.

Recommended.

I was given a free copy by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

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