My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
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