Review: Killer Kung Pao (A Noodle Shop Mystery #6) by Vivien Chien

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?


Lana Lee is feeling stressed. Between updating her family’s Chinese restaurant, the Ho-Lee Noodle House, orchestrating a weekend long sidewalk sale for her restaurant and the other businesses in the Asia Village, and lending a sympathetic ear to just about everyone in her orbit, she’s beat. Unfortunately, things are about to get even crazier for poor, overworked Lana.

June Yi, co-owner of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, has never been known for having a good-natured disposition, and those that deal with her tend never to cross her. But she meets her match when she rear-ends mahjong player Mildred Mao in the parking lot of Asia Village. Mildred is not only as nasty as June, but she also happens to be a little sue-crazy. When June refuses to pay up just the way Meredith demands, she threatens her with a lawsuit that could end up jeopardizing the Yi’s bakery business.

So when Mildred is found dead at the beauty salon, no one needs three guesses to come up with June’s name, but June’s twin Shirley insists on her sister’s innocence. Enter: Lana Lee.

Once again, Lana must gather the clues and rumors surrounding Mildred’s demise, and figure out whodunit. But with so much stacking up on Lana’s plate, and too many familiar faces becoming suspects, Lana may be about to get the shock of her life..(summary from Goodreads)


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!

Book Info and Rating

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN 1250228301 (ISBN13: 9781250228307)
Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martins Press, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: cozy mystery, detective novel, mystery


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