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Vivien Chen's Lana Lee returns for Killer Kung Pao, another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio! Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle? Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able Vivien Chen's Lana Lee returns for Killer Kung Pao, another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio! Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle? Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved. June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?


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Vivien Chen's Lana Lee returns for Killer Kung Pao, another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio! Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle? Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able Vivien Chen's Lana Lee returns for Killer Kung Pao, another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio! Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle? Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved. June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?

30 review for Killer Kung Pao

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natalia R

    Lana Lee is the manager of her family's Chinese restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House, which is located in an Asian shopping center in the Cleveland, Ohio area. In this sixth installment in Vivien Chien's A Noodle House Mystery series, Lana is having her hair dyed at her favorite salon when a client is electrocuted. The victim, Mildred Mao, was not well-liked in the community. She was known for cheating at Mah Jong and being sue-happy. Everyone immediately points the fingers at her most recent enemy, Lana Lee is the manager of her family's Chinese restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House, which is located in an Asian shopping center in the Cleveland, Ohio area. In this sixth installment in Vivien Chien's A Noodle House Mystery series, Lana is having her hair dyed at her favorite salon when a client is electrocuted. The victim, Mildred Mao, was not well-liked in the community. She was known for cheating at Mah Jong and being sue-happy. Everyone immediately points the fingers at her most recent enemy, June Yi, but Lana has her doubts and is determined to uncover the truth. This is a fun, engaging series, with witty writing, relatable family relationships, and mouthwatering descriptions of Chinese food that will leave you craving some dumplings and noodles. Spending time in Asia Village with Lana and the gang feels like catching up with old friends. Lana is one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines. She's relatable, down to earth, and has a great sense of humor. She's a bit reckless in her sleuthing, however, it makes for some hilarious interactions with the suspects. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life and making the reader become invested in not only Lana's story but also in the stories of those around her. This installment focuses on Jasmine from the beauty salon and the Mahjong Matrons. It was fun learning more about them. The mystery was well-crafted, with plenty of clues, false leads, and suspects to keep readers on the edge of their seats. I was unable to solve the mystery and was surprised by the reveal. All in all, this is a fantastic addition to the series, and I eagerly await the next book. Anna May is hiding something and I can't wait for Lana to uncover her secret. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    JEN A

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and St. Martin Press in return for an honest review. The release date for this book is 25 Aug 2020 This is your average cozy mystery series. The main character is very likable and the plot followed the normal cozy mystery outline. There wasn’t anything too exciting or thrilling about this book. It wasn’t a bad read just a bit on the average side. It just didn’t have a big draw for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I loved being back at Asia Village again. Lana Lee,who works at her parents restaurant has a lot on her plate,including finding a killer.The connections between the suspects were very complex but fun to read and very convincing. The killer was surprisingly simple in the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    4 Stars This was an absolutely delightful read! My first book in this series and by this author and I am already excited to read all the rest of the books. The characters and setting were so much fun and while I early on figured out the whodunit, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. Challenges: ◼ AMMP: Places You Go BINGO: Read a book in which characters go to a bar/club/casino/disco ◼ AMMP: Oh, The Places You’ve Been!: Ohio

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    How is it that we are already on the 6th book in this series? It feels like I just started reading it a few months ago….but I haven’t. I read the very first book before it came out and fell in love with this series. I adore Lana Lee and all the murdery goodness of the Asia Village not to mention every book I read leaves me craving Chinese food and I don’t even like Chinese food but I would kill for some noodles about three chapters in to every single book! Every time I see that Vivien Chien has a How is it that we are already on the 6th book in this series? It feels like I just started reading it a few months ago….but I haven’t. I read the very first book before it came out and fell in love with this series. I adore Lana Lee and all the murdery goodness of the Asia Village not to mention every book I read leaves me craving Chinese food and I don’t even like Chinese food but I would kill for some noodles about three chapters in to every single book! Every time I see that Vivien Chien has a new Lana book coming out, I just automatically add it to my TBR and my review calendar because they are quick easy reads with a good mystery and a fun heroine, how could I not read them? One of the things I love most about this series is it has a small town feel to it. Sure it’s set in Cleveland but the Asia Village truly feels like it’s own little world separate from the hustle and bustle of the ‘big city’. I wish I could go to this shopping center in real life and just people watch and wait for murder to happen, because there is always a murder just waiting to happen in Asia Village or at the very least some serious drama. I think that’s one of the things that I love most about this series, is the crazy little Asia Village and all the drama with the shop owners. It totally draws me in every time and plays to my nosiness and I am 100% ok with that. The characters are memorable and just quirky enough to be lovable and to stand out in your mind. I can easily recall Lana Lee the second I see the name and can start to see her crazy hair colors appear in my mind from the very beginning. I just love her and it’s been so fun seeing her evolve throughout the books. I am so glad this series has continued and I will definitely be sad when it comes to an end but for now I think we have a few more Lana books to look forward to. This mystery was of course another fun installment to the series. Though I was able to figure out who the killer was early on, it was still fun trying to discover the motive and the evidence with Lana. Throughout the series I have really loved the Mah Jong Matrons. They are in every book and yet we haven’t really explored their characters beyond them being the Asia Village town gossips. In this book we get to see more of them and explore their characters a little more and I enjoyed that quite a bit. Once again this was a great installment to a beloved series with great characters. I never read a Lana novel and feel disappointed. They are quick reads and a nice escape from mundane life. You can definitely jump around in the series do if you haven’t read some of the other books that’s ok, each book focuses on a new mystery and the author does a great job catching new readers up! See my full review here

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    I have to be honest, I have only read the first book in the series, and I was horribly disappointed. I’ve seen friends promoting other books in this series, so when I saw Killer Kung Pao on NetGalley, I decided to give it a try. I’m very glad I did! I absolutely loved this book and Lana Lee is a great character. There are times I will read a book that’s further into the series, because reading a first book in a new series can be overwhelming. I’m looking forward to reading the other books I’ve misse I have to be honest, I have only read the first book in the series, and I was horribly disappointed. I’ve seen friends promoting other books in this series, so when I saw Killer Kung Pao on NetGalley, I decided to give it a try. I’m very glad I did! I absolutely loved this book and Lana Lee is a great character. There are times I will read a book that’s further into the series, because reading a first book in a new series can be overwhelming. I’m looking forward to reading the other books I’ve missed, and I’m really glad I tried another book by this author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linden

    A manager of a Cleveland Chinese restaurant seems like an unlikely investigator, but Lana Lee often finds herself in the middle of a mystery. When she is having her hair done by Jasmine, her favorite stylist at Asian Accents, there is a shocking death in the salon. Is it murder or an accident? The woman who died was abrasive, but is there someone who hated her enough to kill? If you are looking for a well written cozy mystery with likable characters, I recommend Killer Kung Pao. Thanks to the pu A manager of a Cleveland Chinese restaurant seems like an unlikely investigator, but Lana Lee often finds herself in the middle of a mystery. When she is having her hair done by Jasmine, her favorite stylist at Asian Accents, there is a shocking death in the salon. Is it murder or an accident? The woman who died was abrasive, but is there someone who hated her enough to kill? If you are looking for a well written cozy mystery with likable characters, I recommend Killer Kung Pao. Thanks to the publisher and to Edelweiss for this ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    Lana Lee is back and once again she finds herself trying to solve another murder at Asia Village. I have to say, for such a small shopping complex, there is a lot of shenanigans going on. For me, this is a really fun series which all starts with the main character Lana Lee. She has personality galore and it just jumps off the page. Add in her family, boyfriend, and all the other shop owners and employees at the Asia Village and you have a rich, diverse, quirky, fun group of characters. The vario Lana Lee is back and once again she finds herself trying to solve another murder at Asia Village. I have to say, for such a small shopping complex, there is a lot of shenanigans going on. For me, this is a really fun series which all starts with the main character Lana Lee. She has personality galore and it just jumps off the page. Add in her family, boyfriend, and all the other shop owners and employees at the Asia Village and you have a rich, diverse, quirky, fun group of characters. The various relationships in this series keep me entertained. Lana and Adam are in a good place. He's not overly fond of her penchant for investigating the murders and crimes that occur at Asia Village but he has come around to the fact that he is basically dating the resident busy body and has adjusted. Her best friend Megan is her partner in crime and enabler. She is always up for investigating. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get more of Mama Lee in this book, but I'm sure she has something up her sleeve. The mystery centers around the murder of a woman who is not well-liked and cheats at Mah Jong. As a result, when she is murder at the local hair salon the obvious suspect is her most recent nemesis. But for Lana Lee, something just doesn't add up. The author does a great job of laying out suspects and complex connections that Lana has to dig to uncover, but in the end, the resolution was a relatively simple one. This is a terrific series and I love all the characters and the setting. I'm in this for the long run and will be back for the next installment. I need to find out what color Lana Lee's hair will be then and what trouble she can dig up next time. I voluntarily read a digital advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, through Netgalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is the 6th A Noodle Shop Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series or have skipped a book. Lana Lee is the manager of her family’s restaurant, Ho Lee Noodle House in Asia Village in Fairview Park, Ohio. She is also on the board of directors for the village. Lana is twenty-eight years old, shares an apartment with her best friend, and likes to frequently change her hair color. She is dating Detective Adam Trudeau when their schedules allo Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is the 6th A Noodle Shop Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series or have skipped a book. Lana Lee is the manager of her family’s restaurant, Ho Lee Noodle House in Asia Village in Fairview Park, Ohio. She is also on the board of directors for the village. Lana is twenty-eight years old, shares an apartment with her best friend, and likes to frequently change her hair color. She is dating Detective Adam Trudeau when their schedules allow. Lana is looking forward to spending Friday evening with her roommate and boyfriend. Before she can leave the restaurant, Ian Sung approaches her. He wants Lana to coordinate the upcoming sidewalk sale for Asia Village. Then Lana witnesses a fender bender between the toxic June Yi and rude Millie Mao. Lana’s plan for Saturday morning is getting her hair colored at Asian Accents. Unfortunately, Millie and June happen to have appointments scheduled at the same time. Millie ends up dead and June is at the top of the suspect list. Despite Lana’s intentions to stay out of this investigation, she gets roped in by June’s twin sister, Shirley. The suspect list consists of people who were at the salon that morning which leads to some uncomfortable questioning since Lana knows them. No one likes to be suspected of murder by someone they know, or watch grow up. There are several viable suspects, good clues, and misdirection. I like how the crime was committed. I found this whodunit a cinch to solve. I thought the pacing was a little slow. I had a hard time staying engaged which is a shame because I really enjoyed the last A Noodle Shop Mystery. I like Lana Lee and the other characters in this series as well as Asia Village and the close-knit Asian community. I just think the series needs a little more oomph to take it from okay to wow. I like how Lana’s roommate knows when something is upsetting Lana by how many donuts she brings home. All of us who stress eat can relate. There is humor sprinkled throughout the story that will have you chuckling. The food descriptions had me craving my favorite Chinese food plus glazed munchkins. Killer Kung Pao is a charming cozy mystery with a desperate dye job, a fender bender, a sidewalk sale, delectable donuts, fiery foes, a scolding sister, and the Mahjong Matrons.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Noreen Trotsky

    Another murder in Asia Village? It's getting downright dangerous there! No worries, though, because once again Lana Lee is on the case. While getting her hair done, a murder occurs in the salon in the Village. Saying that she is not getting involved in the case, Lana gets pulled in by the most likely suspect's sister, asking her to prove her sister didn't commit the murder. I really love this series and always am disappointed when the current book ends. Most of the characters are well develop by Another murder in Asia Village? It's getting downright dangerous there! No worries, though, because once again Lana Lee is on the case. While getting her hair done, a murder occurs in the salon in the Village. Saying that she is not getting involved in the case, Lana gets pulled in by the most likely suspect's sister, asking her to prove her sister didn't commit the murder. I really love this series and always am disappointed when the current book ends. Most of the characters are well develop by this book, but it can still be read as a stand-alone. As it looks, maybe Lana's sister, Anna May, might be highlighted in the next book with her own mystery? Recommended for mystery lovers. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for making this digital ARC available.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lizz DiCesare

    I heard about the Noodle Shop Mystery series earlier this year and was immediately intrigued by the titles and covers! When I saw Killer Kung Pao by Viven Chien on NetGalley, I knew I had to read the book and give the series a try. I wasn’t sure if they had to be read in order, but I took a gamble and was so pleased with the story. Killer Kung Pao is the sixth book in this series, but luckily you can read them out of order without too much issue. There were some references to events that happened I heard about the Noodle Shop Mystery series earlier this year and was immediately intrigued by the titles and covers! When I saw Killer Kung Pao by Viven Chien on NetGalley, I knew I had to read the book and give the series a try. I wasn’t sure if they had to be read in order, but I took a gamble and was so pleased with the story. Killer Kung Pao is the sixth book in this series, but luckily you can read them out of order without too much issue. There were some references to events that happened in other books in the series, but you didn’t need to understand them to follow this story and its specific details. In this book Lana Lee (the leading lady in the series) finds herself wrapped up in a murder mystery. This seems to be an unfortunate, regular occurrence for her, but she loves to play the role of detective and find out what actually happened. I found this incredibly amusing considering her boyfriend is an actual detective working the same case. The story takes place within the Chinese community of Cleveland, Ohio. The majority of events occur in a business complex called Asia Village, where Lana manages her family’s Chinese restaurant. There’s also a bakery, hair salon, and many other small, family-owned businesses. One Saturday morning, as Lana is dying her hair another bold, beautiful color, something sinister happens at the salon and a well-known individual within the community ends up dead. Lana is immediately suspicious, and even though she promises herself she won’t get caught up in another personal investigation, she finds herself tracking down leads and uncovering secrets in order to find the truth. I found the story to be well-paced and entertaining enough, even though there wasn’t a major twist. There were more than enough characters involved, which kept you guessing as to who was guilty. At times it was a little confusing trying to keep track of everyone, but for me, that only added to the mystery of the unknown killer. Killer Kung Pao was a quick read with lots of dialogue and a great, built-out cast and community of characters. I enjoyed the book from start to finish, and definitely want to go back and read the first five books in the series to learn more about Lana and her story. Thank you to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley. Killer Kung Pao came out on August 25, 2020 and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katreader

    KILLER KUNG PAO by Vivien Chien The Sixth Noodle Shop Mystery June Yi and Millie Mao are two of the most unpleasant people to be found in Asia Village. When the duo are involved in a minor fender bender Lana Lee knows it will be the talk of the village, especially after lawsuit happy Millie leaves via an ambulance.When June and Millie both wind up in Asian Accents, Lana's wish for a peaceful relaxing day seems impossible. Before her hair is done, a scream rings through the salon...a woman is dead KILLER KUNG PAO by Vivien Chien The Sixth Noodle Shop Mystery June Yi and Millie Mao are two of the most unpleasant people to be found in Asia Village. When the duo are involved in a minor fender bender Lana Lee knows it will be the talk of the village, especially after lawsuit happy Millie leaves via an ambulance.When June and Millie both wind up in Asian Accents, Lana's wish for a peaceful relaxing day seems impossible. Before her hair is done, a scream rings through the salon...a woman is dead and Lana is about to be involved in another murder. How far would you go to help someone you didn't like? June is one of the most disliked people in Asia Village and everyone believes she's guilty. Could it be that obvious? Lana has her doubts. Lana's insatiable curiosity coupled with the heartfelt plea for help from June's sister leads Lana Lee into another murder investigation. I've always liked Lana and I like her even more after this sixth Noodle shop mystery. She's willing to take on so much, Asian Village's sidewalk sale, her friends' relationship crisis, her mother's demands for Ho-Lee Noodle House, and another murder. It would be easy to stay out of it and let the police decide the nasty woman everyone disliked is the murderer. But it takes strength of character to look into things and try to find the truth. No matter how much we love and believe in someone niggling doubts will still arise. Many of the characters in KILLER KUNG PAO are faced with this dilemma, including Lana. This doubt and the moral dilemmas faced here increase the anxiety and raise the tension creating a thought provoking and exciting read. KILLER KUNG PAO has more twists than a mahua and had me gasping in shock at the ending! I absolutely love this character driven series and can't wait for Lana's next adventure.

  13. 4 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    Killer Kung Pao is the sixth book in Vivien Chien’s A Noodle Shop Mystery series. This is an easy and fun read, with a solid mystery, witty writing, and affable characters. There isn’t any graphic violence or adult situations, but there is some adult language. (3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars) Lana Lee is the manager of her family’s Chinese restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House, in Asia Village, a quaint shopping center, in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She has an older sister, Anna May, who is in law school, Killer Kung Pao is the sixth book in Vivien Chien’s A Noodle Shop Mystery series. This is an easy and fun read, with a solid mystery, witty writing, and affable characters. There isn’t any graphic violence or adult situations, but there is some adult language. (3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars) Lana Lee is the manager of her family’s Chinese restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House, in Asia Village, a quaint shopping center, in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She has an older sister, Anna May, who is in law school, shares an apartment with her best friend, Megan Riley, has a pug named Kikko, and is dating Detective Adam Trudeau of the Fairview Park Police Department. Ian Sung, Asia Village’s property manager, approaches Lana and “asks” her to be in charge of the end of summer sidewalk sale. June Yi, co-owner of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is involved in a minor automobile accident in Asia Village’s parking lot with Millie Mao. Not long after the accident and Millie’s threat of filing a lawsuit against June, Millie is electrocuted while receiving a pedicure at Asian Accents, and June, who is also there, becomes the prime suspect. June’s twin sister, Shirley, insists June is innocent and asks Lana clear her sister’s name, and she reluctantly agrees. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    K.B. Wilson

    Lana Lee is back & the trouble never stops at Asia Village. Lana is busy running her family restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House when she witnesses a car accident on the way to meet her police officer boyfriend Friday night after work. Both drivers are tough, unforgiving women & Lana is caught up in it as she was a witness. When one of the women turns up dead is Asia Village’s beauty salon, Lana will again find herself trying to solve the crime. • I’ll start off by saying I love Lana Lee, I love the se Lana Lee is back & the trouble never stops at Asia Village. Lana is busy running her family restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House when she witnesses a car accident on the way to meet her police officer boyfriend Friday night after work. Both drivers are tough, unforgiving women & Lana is caught up in it as she was a witness. When one of the women turns up dead is Asia Village’s beauty salon, Lana will again find herself trying to solve the crime. • I’ll start off by saying I love Lana Lee, I love the series & adore Chien’s writing. There’s no negative to follow....it’s another rave review for the latest book! I’m always happy to be back in Cleveland, back at Asia Village surrounded by all the wonderful characters the author has created. This time around we get to know Jasmine from the beauty salon & a couple of the Majong Matrons a little better, it was only a matter of time until these characters were caught up in one of the mysteries. I like that Lana now has a reputation for helping solve crimes so people are coming to her. Overall it’s another charming, fun book & a great addition to the series. Now I sadly have to wait for the next book but I will be reading it without a doubt! A big thanks to Netgalley & St. Martins Press for an ARC of this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the sixth book in the A Noodle Shop Mystery series by Vivien Chien. Lana Lee is just wanting to get her hair colored a nice gunmetal gray and when she goes to the salon she sees two of her neighbors from Asia Village who got into a fender bender the day before having words inside the salon. Suddenly the power goes out and Mildred is dead and no one knows who could have done it. The main suspect’s sister asks Lana to prove her innocence but June is not exactly her BFF but she does 4.5 stars This is the sixth book in the A Noodle Shop Mystery series by Vivien Chien. Lana Lee is just wanting to get her hair colored a nice gunmetal gray and when she goes to the salon she sees two of her neighbors from Asia Village who got into a fender bender the day before having words inside the salon. Suddenly the power goes out and Mildred is dead and no one knows who could have done it. The main suspect’s sister asks Lana to prove her innocence but June is not exactly her BFF but she does it anyway. Lots of hijinks in this and the suspects even wander onto the ladies of the Mahjong Matrons. This is a fun series to follow and I am totally hooked on Lana and the Mahjong Matrons. Definitely a series I want to continue with. Great characterization and family dynamics. If you like cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. Lana Lee and the drama at Asia Village return in this excellent new book in the Noodle Shop Mystery series. Once again, Lana is an unfortunate witness to a murder within the plaza (which also means weekend plans for her and her detective boyfriend are ruined, again), and the expectation is that Lana will help out with clearing the name of one of the ornery fellow plaza shop owners who is the prime suspect in this o Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for honest review. Lana Lee and the drama at Asia Village return in this excellent new book in the Noodle Shop Mystery series. Once again, Lana is an unfortunate witness to a murder within the plaza (which also means weekend plans for her and her detective boyfriend are ruined, again), and the expectation is that Lana will help out with clearing the name of one of the ornery fellow plaza shop owners who is the prime suspect in this one. The cast of characters is wide in this one and pulls together people from all the previous books. With the victim being a universally unliked customer, the suspect pool is wide. Another great one in a very reliable series!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Piepie

    I simply devoured this book... I read it in less than two days! Unraveling mysteries with Lana, her best friend Megan, and Lana's adorable pug Kikko is a great way to pass the time. You'll water at the mouth at the descriptions of food... so don't read this book hungry! I loved seeing the "Mahjong Matrons" front and center and I liked the hair salon setting. Lana is a bright and vivid character and I'd love to know her in real life. You could probably jump around in this series and read books ou I simply devoured this book... I read it in less than two days! Unraveling mysteries with Lana, her best friend Megan, and Lana's adorable pug Kikko is a great way to pass the time. You'll water at the mouth at the descriptions of food... so don't read this book hungry! I loved seeing the "Mahjong Matrons" front and center and I liked the hair salon setting. Lana is a bright and vivid character and I'd love to know her in real life. You could probably jump around in this series and read books out of order, but sometimes they do mention past characters/previous events. I highly recommend this cozy mystery series... I buy each and every one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lacey Harrington

    Lana Lee is a curious, sassy and intelligent woman. When a woman is killed in the hair salon Lana was at she is on the case. She upsets locals and friends trying to find the murderer. This was my first book in the series. Well developed characters that pull you in. The mystery was not easy to figure out. I will now go binge read the rest in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC! My friend Vivien writes the most delicious cozy mysteries, and I always look forward to a new one. FATAL FRIED RICE will be out next year, and I"m already looking forward to it. In this entry, Lana Lee is investigating the murder of Mildred Mao, a denizen of Asia Village, where Lana's noodle shop is located. This fictional plaza in Fairview Park is home to many business owners and people who have been involved in murder investigations over the Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC! My friend Vivien writes the most delicious cozy mysteries, and I always look forward to a new one. FATAL FRIED RICE will be out next year, and I"m already looking forward to it. In this entry, Lana Lee is investigating the murder of Mildred Mao, a denizen of Asia Village, where Lana's noodle shop is located. This fictional plaza in Fairview Park is home to many business owners and people who have been involved in murder investigations over the years. June Yi, who owns Yi's Bakery and Tea with her sister, Shirley, is Mildred's sworn enemy. They get in a car accident at the start of the book, and then are both in the hair salon when Mildred is electrocuted by a hot tool in her foot bath. Shirley Yi wants Lana to clear her sister's name, and of course, Lana is an old pro at solving murders. Doing this work is now part of Lana's identity. This series continues to surprise me - breaking the mold of what's expected in a cozy. I love the relationship between Lana and her detective boyfriend, especially as it grows deeper over the books. Conflict comes from unexpected places, and characters from previous books have long arcs and recurring appearances. The murderer really surprised me in this one, too. There are some unresolved threads that I hope will be revisited in future books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I've enjoyed this series from the beginning and although this current addition is not quite as good as the earlier ones, reading it is still like meeting up with old friends. The mystery this time seemed a little bit too contrived. Adam's involvement was minimal and his character has morphed from sexy, intense detective to cardboard standby. I would like to see more character development and relationship growth in this series. This could not be a stand alone since readers would need to read prio I've enjoyed this series from the beginning and although this current addition is not quite as good as the earlier ones, reading it is still like meeting up with old friends. The mystery this time seemed a little bit too contrived. Adam's involvement was minimal and his character has morphed from sexy, intense detective to cardboard standby. I would like to see more character development and relationship growth in this series. This could not be a stand alone since readers would need to read prior books in the series to get any sense of the characters.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I wanted to like this book because I love the idea of a Chinese restaurant theme. But the book was so vacuous that it didn't satisfy me at all. I've tried other books in this series and had the same reaction. More depth, please!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen (BaronessBookTrove)

    Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is another fantastic installment that keeps your mind churning with ideas of whodunit. Could June Yi really have murdered someone? Lana Lee and Megan are back once again to try and figure out who else could have killed Millie Mao. For Lana, that is hard to figure out, seeing that she needs to whittle herself through the long list of people. She is excellent at doing this with a typical case. This case is anything but ordinary for her to figure out. Lana is doing h Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is another fantastic installment that keeps your mind churning with ideas of whodunit. Could June Yi really have murdered someone? Lana Lee and Megan are back once again to try and figure out who else could have killed Millie Mao. For Lana, that is hard to figure out, seeing that she needs to whittle herself through the long list of people. She is excellent at doing this with a typical case. This case is anything but ordinary for her to figure out. Lana is doing her best with all the clues that various people gave her. She is also trying to clear June's name from any wrongdoings.  The Mystery Millie Mao is the victim, and under normal circumstances, the way she died could have been accidental. At the Asian Village, nothing is normal, especially when Lana is near the crime scene. Not only does Lana have her hands tied with trying to shift through the clues, but so does Adam. I have to admit that I guessed right the first time but talked myself out of it because I couldn't figure out the motive and thought it was stupid that the person I thought did it would do it. Then I thought I was right with another one, but the reason was weak. I applaud Ms. Chien for stumping me once again! 5 Stars Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is a great book that is entertaining and puzzling at the same time. Ms. Chien does a great job of making me feel bad for Lana regarding this new character in the village who doesn't like Lana. I am giving this five stars and recommending it to anyone that loves cozy culinary mysteries. Other Books in the Series   You will find links to my reviews of these books near the top next to the book cover of Killer Kung Pao. Coming out March 9, 2021 Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien. Please stop by and check out my interview with Vivien Chien and enter the giveaway, HERE. Until the next time, Happy Reading! This review was originally posted on Baroness' Book Trove

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Lana Lee is very busy managing her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio while her sister Anna May interns at a nearby law office. The manager of Asia Village where the restaurant is located then puts her in charge of the summer sidewalk sale and her mother wants her to update the look of their noodle house. She takes a break to try out a new color for her ever-changing hair and ends up a witness to murder. Neither the victim nor the prime suspect, June Yi, have been a friend to Lana, b Lana Lee is very busy managing her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio while her sister Anna May interns at a nearby law office. The manager of Asia Village where the restaurant is located then puts her in charge of the summer sidewalk sale and her mother wants her to update the look of their noodle house. She takes a break to try out a new color for her ever-changing hair and ends up a witness to murder. Neither the victim nor the prime suspect, June Yi, have been a friend to Lana, but she agrees to look into the murder to see which of Millie Mao’s many enemies is the real killer. This is the sixth book in this series, which I have been following from the beginning. I enjoyed the book, but it isn’t up to the usual standards of this series. Lana is as likable as ever, taking on whatever responsibilities are necessary to help her family, friends, and in this case someone she doesn’t even care for. Her out-going, fun roommate Megan Riley is there to help in the investigation even when Lana’s police detective boyfriend doesn’t want her getting involved. This installment allows us to learn more about the Mah Jong Matrons, who appear in every book but haven’t played a large role in the stories until now. I also enjoyed the minor subplot with Lana’s chef Peter and his girlfriend and Lana’s childhood friend Kimmy. The victim had some many people she didn’t get along with and Lana does a good job of finding and questioning several suspects instead of assuming the obvious one is the killer. There is a clever twist at the end that I enjoyed. The downside of the book is that after a large build-up as Lana investigates many suspects throughout Asia Village and beyond, the ending is abrupt. I was expecting more follow-up on the clues Lana had uncovered when instead the killer is revealed and the book ends soon after that. It was all a little too rushed. Not everything is resolved by the end of the book, and I assume the major loose end regarding the secret Lana’s abrasive sister Anna May is keeping will be addressed in the next book. I would rate this book 3.5 stars and think it could stand alone for readers who are new to the series. However, those who like Lana will want to go back to the prior books to get to know her better. I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of St. Martin’s Press. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased. This review will also appear on Smitten Review Site and Blog.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Lana Lee has come into her own since we first met her in Death by Dumpling. Back then she was not happy to be back in the family business, the Ho-Lee Noodle House. She would have rather been doing any other job but that's life. Now, in the 6th entry of the series, Lana Lee is the manager of Ho-Lee Noodle House and it turns out that she is very good at her job. She is also very good at getting involved with the occasional murder. Too bad the Cleveland area Asia Village, location of the Noodle Hou Lana Lee has come into her own since we first met her in Death by Dumpling. Back then she was not happy to be back in the family business, the Ho-Lee Noodle House. She would have rather been doing any other job but that's life. Now, in the 6th entry of the series, Lana Lee is the manager of Ho-Lee Noodle House and it turns out that she is very good at her job. She is also very good at getting involved with the occasional murder. Too bad the Cleveland area Asia Village, location of the Noodle House is also the epicenter of those homicides. On her day off, Lana Lee, always pushing the envelope, not wanting to settle on one hair color for very long, is off the the Asia Village salon to get her hair dyed again. This time a gun metal gray...or so she hopes. Not happening. The previous day there had been a fender bender in the Asia Village parking lot and Lana Lee was a captive witness as one of the cars involved had her boxed into her parking space. She was up close and personal to see a real blow up between to very unpopular women connected to the Asia Village. The same two women show up at the salon and one would be leaving in a body bag. All she wanted was a soothing pedicure but got a side of electrocution. The dead woman, Millie Mao, was suing the other driver, June Yi but June isn't going to stand still for that. Did that push her into settling the case once and for all? June's sister isn't buying it and begs Lana Lee to unmask the real killer. Of all the people to have to help, June is the last one on the list but June and her sister might lose their bakery in the Asia Village if the killer isn't caught. If that isn't enough to fill her plate, others have decided that Lana Lee will be in charge of the week long Village street fair! Say what? How did that happen? It's a lot to juggle. When I first met Lana Lee I was not sure about her with her attitude towards the family business and having her life take a turn she didn't like but then I got to know the rest of the cast. Her parents, her older sister (who has something going on in her life that I'm eager to know about), her grandmother and last but not least, The MahJong Ladies - they hear every tiny tidbit of information and general gossip in the Village. Together they won me over by the second book and I was hooked. We will see Lana Lee and the rest of the gang next March in Fatal Fried Rice. My thanks to the publisher St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Killer Kung Pao is the 6th Noodle Shop mystery by Vivien Chien. Released 25th Aug 2020 by Macmillan on their St. Martin's Press imprint, it's 304 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a cozy series featuring a sweet heroine who is a manager of Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Killer Kung Pao is the 6th Noodle Shop mystery by Vivien Chien. Released 25th Aug 2020 by Macmillan on their St. Martin's Press imprint, it's 304 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a cozy series featuring a sweet heroine who is a manager of her family's Chinese restaurant. The main character is plucky and loyal but she's not too saccharine sweet or perfect. When faced with nasty racist meanness and attitude, she's not above a few sarcastic digs in her own defense. At the end of the day, she's a genuinely likeable protagonist and I've really enjoyed this series thus far. The background story is well interwoven in the book, and it works as a standalone without needing to have read the previous books. (I can heartily recommend them as well, if you're looking for a new light cozy series to binge read) It's a little longer than most cozies at over 300 pages but the plotting is tight and it doesn't drag. The clues are well interspersed in the narrative and the book follows the 'rules' for amateur detective fiction. Lately I've gotten my fill of southern catering homestyle bookmobile cat loving bakery shop ladies; this young woman with a great best friend, brightly colored changeable hair, and good relationship with her parents is such a breath of fresh air. There's a lot of warmth and humor here. The book is relatively clean, with only a sprinkling of 'hell' and 'damn' and nothing more objectionable than implied consensual overnight stays from her boyfriend (a police detective) in the book. Definitely safe-for-lunch reading at work. It was a delight to read and I'll keep up with the series. Only downside, I've been craving noodles. I've gotten takeaway three times from my favorite Vietnamese restaurant after work in the last week! (They love me there). Four stars, delightfully fun light cozy mystery. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Smitten

    3.5 Stars Lana Lee is very busy managing her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio while her sister Anna May interns at a nearby law office. The manager of Asia Village where the restaurant is located then puts her in charge of the summer sidewalk sale and her mother wants her to update the look of their noodle house. She takes a break to try out a new color for her ever-changing hair and ends up a witness to murder. Neither the victim nor the prime suspect, June Yi, have been a friend t 3.5 Stars Lana Lee is very busy managing her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio while her sister Anna May interns at a nearby law office. The manager of Asia Village where the restaurant is located then puts her in charge of the summer sidewalk sale and her mother wants her to update the look of their noodle house. She takes a break to try out a new color for her ever-changing hair and ends up a witness to murder. Neither the victim nor the prime suspect, June Yi, have been a friend to Lana, but she agrees to look into the murder to see which of Millie Mao’s many enemies is the real killer. This is the sixth book in this series, which I have been following from the beginning. I enjoyed the book, but it isn’t up to the usual standards of this series. Lana is as likable as ever, taking on whatever responsibilities are necessary to help her family, friends, and in this case someone she doesn’t even care for. Her out-going, fun roommate Megan Riley is there to help in the investigation even when Lana’s police detective boyfriend doesn’t want her getting involved. This installment allows us to learn more about the Mah Jong Matrons, who appear in every book but haven’t played a large role in the stories until now. I also enjoyed the minor subplot with Lana’s chef Peter and his girlfriend and Lana’s childhood friend Kimmy. The victim had some many people she didn’t get along with and Lana does a good job of finding and questioning several suspects instead of assuming the obvious one is the killer. There is a clever twist at the end that I enjoyed. The downside of the book is that after a large build-up as Lana investigates many suspects throughout Asia Village and beyond, the ending is abrupt. I was expecting more follow-up on the clues Lana had uncovered when instead the killer is revealed and the book ends soon after that. It was all a little too rushed. Not everything is resolved by the end of the book, and I assume the major loose end regarding the secret Lana’s abrasive sister Anna May is keeping will be addressed in the next book. I think this book could stand alone for readers who are new to the series. However, those who like Lana will want to go back to the prior books to get to know her better. ~ Christine

  27. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    3.5 Stars It’s always fun to jump back into the world that Vivien Chien’s world and after enjoying the last book of the series, I was definitely looking forward to reading his new book. KILLER KUNG PAO is the sixth book of the Noodle Shop Mystery series. When someone that Lana doesn’t really get along with is killed, this sets Lana Lee into a mental tailspin. She’s already got a lot on her plate with managing Ho-Lee Noodle House, but her amateur sleuth skills are once again put to the test to 3.5 Stars It’s always fun to jump back into the world that Vivien Chien’s world and after enjoying the last book of the series, I was definitely looking forward to reading his new book. KILLER KUNG PAO is the sixth book of the Noodle Shop Mystery series. When someone that Lana doesn’t really get along with is killed, this sets Lana Lee into a mental tailspin. She’s already got a lot on her plate with managing Ho-Lee Noodle House, but her amateur sleuth skills are once again put to the test to figure out what really happened. I enjoyed this book, but probably not as much as the previous one. I think that the mystery was done well. However, it doesn’t necessarily spark a lot of inspiration if you’re an avid Cozy Mystery reader. So I would say it’s a good book to read if you’re not very familiar with the genre or just want something very light. Still, it isn’t a bad book. It’s just a bit on the lighter side. I would like to see more character development happen for Lana’s character. Much like her sister and family complains, I do feel like she is very immature for her age. I don’t mind the crazy hairstyle and all that, but her thinking does seem a bit elementary in some cases. We’re the same age, but I definitely feel like she could grow up a bit more. Starting out the series like that is completely fine, but we’re six books in already and I would like to see Lana grow and mature, taking what she learned over the course of the series and become a stronger woman. Reviewed by Ann❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  28. 4 out of 5

    LiteraryMarie

    Killer Kung Pao, the sixth book in the Noodle Shop mystery series by Vivien Chien. Once again, you did not read wrong. No, you did not miss the first four book reviews of this series because I am going about this backward. This is actually just the second book of this series that I have read and reviewed but more about that later. Welcome to Ho-Lee Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant located in Cleveland, Ohio. Lana Lee is the manager of this family-owned restaurant and feeling stressed. Between o Killer Kung Pao, the sixth book in the Noodle Shop mystery series by Vivien Chien. Once again, you did not read wrong. No, you did not miss the first four book reviews of this series because I am going about this backward. This is actually just the second book of this series that I have read and reviewed but more about that later. Welcome to Ho-Lee Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant located in Cleveland, Ohio. Lana Lee is the manager of this family-owned restaurant and feeling stressed. Between organizing a sidewalk sale in the Asia Village, being a soundboard to ere'body and being overworked, she is beyond tired. Lana Lee does not have time to solve yet another local murder. But she's good at it. June Yi is co-owner of Yi's Tea and Bakery. No one wants to get on her bad side. But she meets her match when she rear-ends mahjong player, Mildred Mao, in the Asia Village parking lot. Mildred can be a little sue-crazy so she demands that June Yi pay up, or else she will sue June Yi for everything she's got—including the bakery. So when Mildred is electrocuted while having a foot bath, guess who the main suspect is? Of course it is up to Lana Lee to figure out whodunit. Being a Midwest resident, I know that Cleveland is not a small town. Yet the Asia Village is a small community of business owners and a tight circle. Everyone knows everyone and there are many connections, which makes the list of suspects long. Author Vivien Chien expertly throws clues and curveballs to throw the reader off and keep the mystery going. What began as a fender bender turned into a murder that kept Lane Lee on her amateur sleuth toes. What a whirlwind! Even after reading Killer Kung Pao, this series has yet to wow me. But I like the main character, her police officer boyfriend, her bartender bestie and the close-knit Asian community. So now I will finally start this series from the very beginning. In case you missed it, check out last week's book review of Egg Drop Dead, the previous book in the Noodle Shop mystery series. As for the others, stay tuned! LiteraryMarie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gaby

    I really enjoy Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop Mysteries because of Lana Lee, the bi-racial amateur detective whose day job is manager of the family business. Lana manages Ho-Lee Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant/noodle shop, in Asian Village in Cleveland. Lana's not the usual academic brainiac or subdued or subtle Chinese American daughter. Lana prefers to dye her hair brilliant colors, speak her mind, and follow her sleuthing instincts and she attracts all sorts of danger. This time Lana is having I really enjoy Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop Mysteries because of Lana Lee, the bi-racial amateur detective whose day job is manager of the family business. Lana manages Ho-Lee Noodle House, a Chinese restaurant/noodle shop, in Asian Village in Cleveland. Lana's not the usual academic brainiac or subdued or subtle Chinese American daughter. Lana prefers to dye her hair brilliant colors, speak her mind, and follow her sleuthing instincts and she attracts all sorts of danger. This time Lana is having her hair dyed when a client is electrocuted. Lana tries to parse out who the true killer is and finds a mix of unlikely candidates. The victim June Yi of Yi's Tea and Bakery is obnoxious, litigious and there are plenty of people who would want her dead. There's Lara's longtime enemy and Mah Jong lover Millie Mao who had her Cadillac rear ended by June Yi in the Asian Village's parking lot. Even two of her Mah Jong playing regulars have started acting suspiciously. Lara Lee agrees to undertake an unofficial investigation. She has to be careful as her boyfriend is the homicide detective assigned to the case. As Lara digs into the different possibilities, she must confront some of her close friends, allies and respected family friends. Her investigation draws the ire and attention of the killer and it is uncertain whether Lara will find the solution in time. Lana's boyfriend is a police detective on the murder division and he's assigned the case.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight, between the Mahjong Matrons, the owners of Yi’s Tea and Bakery (and which sister was older), the society ladies, and the myriad of women at the hair salon, I found myself going back chapters at a time trying to remember names and relationships. By now, you would have thought that Lana Lee, manager of her family's Chinese Restaurant in Asia Village, would be tired of putting her life at risk, but death does seem to find her. Tensions are alre I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight, between the Mahjong Matrons, the owners of Yi’s Tea and Bakery (and which sister was older), the society ladies, and the myriad of women at the hair salon, I found myself going back chapters at a time trying to remember names and relationships. By now, you would have thought that Lana Lee, manager of her family's Chinese Restaurant in Asia Village, would be tired of putting her life at risk, but death does seem to find her. Tensions are already high when there is a slight fender bender in the parking lot outside the shopping area. No one could foresee the accident leading to Millie’s electrocution death at the salon a couple of days later. Now everyone suspects June Yi, but Lana is not so sure. Taking her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau's advice and knowing that she should let the police do their job is not Lana’s style. With her notebook in hand, Lana sets out to discover what people know and why they are so reluctant with the truth. I enjoy this series. Vivien Chien twists her narrative with just the right amount of layering and adds humor where it is needed. She does not over-explain, and knowing when the reader needs a break from the goings-on, throws in the delicious tastes and aroma of Lana’s much-loved donuts and delicacies coming out of the noodle house.

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