WONTON TERROR by Vivien Chien
The Fourth Noodle Shop Mystery
Warm summer nights in Cleveland, Ohio mean outdoor activities and the start of the Asian Night Market. Representing the Ho-Lee Noodle House Lana Lee sees old family friends Sandra and Ronnie Chow with their new venture, the Wonton on Wheels food truck. The spectacular evening ends with a bang, literally, as an explosion rocks the night.Was this an insurance scam gone horribly wrong or did someone want Ronnie Chow dead? While her boyfriend, Detective Trudeau, is not working the case Lana feels it's her responsibility to look into things. But why doesn't anyone know much about the Chows? And why did her mother distance herself from her onetime friends? Could Sandra really be behind the plot? Between managing the restaurant and trying to keep the peace between her mother and visiting aunt, Lana hones her investigative skills. Will she uncover the truth or just get herself in hot water?
WARNING! Do not start reading if you are hungry. Within minutes I was craving noodles and I'm still dreaming of wonton soup. So get satiated or have Chinese takeaway near to hand, and then you'll be ready to join Lana on another adventure. And what an adventure it is. I can just picture the Asian Night Market and would love to hang out and enjoy the summer night with the market's casual ambiance and innovative food offerings. When the successful night shatters in violence it brings a crushing reality to the world. Truly nowhere is safe. WONTON TERROR also takes a look at domestic violence. There are no details, like reality the subject is kept behind closed doors, but still, the subject is acknowledged and plays a major role in the mystery.
Despite explosions and the reality of domestic violence WONTON TERROR remains a light-hearted, fun read. The close knit community, and ties of family and friends bring warmth and joy, despite bickering and murder. Seeing relationships develop and grow keep me invested in this series. I really love Lana's family and they had me laughing out loud in this outing. With her sister Grace in town Lana's Mom is on edge and when she finally loses it during a family dinner out it is absolutely priceless!
The fourth Noodle House mystery is perplexing mystery which kept me guessing. While I had my suspicions about the culprit I really didn't know who was behind matters. Lana and her life is infinitely engaging and I love watching her puzzle through the mystery, asking questions while maintaining her job and family obligations.
WONTON TERROR is a fun mystery that kept me absorbed from the first page. As Lana says, "It's good to be Lana Lee" and it's a joy to read about her!