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Death by Dumpling

(A Noodle Shop Mystery #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,240 ratings  ·  340 reviews
Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that a return to the Cleveland area to help wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means hav
Mass Market Paperback, 328 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Joyce Unlike many other food related cozies like Joanne Fluke's or Cleo Coyle's, this one does not contain recipes.

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3.77  · 
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 ·  1,240 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien is a 2018 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Brilliant beginning for this new cozy mystery series!!

I kept hearing about this book and was desperate to try it out, but my local library did not have a copy. But, thankfully, my non-resident Overdrive library sponsor accepted my recommendation of this book and I profusely thank them for buying a copy.

Was it worth the wait and extra effort I had to go through in order to read it? Absolutely!! This is one of the best d
Carol (Bookaria)
Not only was this an engaging mystery but also look at that cover! I've been craving noodles ever since I saw it.

Lana Lee is 27 years-old and works at her parents' Chinese restaurant. Recently, she went through a tough breakup with her boyfriend and has been having a difficult time. Things get tougher for her when the business' landlord is found dead and the cause of the crime is a dumpling from her parents' noodle house.

Mr. Feng, the dead man, is allergic to shellfish and it appears that some
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien is the first book in the new cozy A Noodle Shop Mystery series. The series brings a bit of diversity to the genre by being set in the Asian Village Plaza, a mall with the shops full of Chinese culture.

Lana Lee has found herself returning home to her parents and working in their restaurant, the Ho-Lee Noodle House. When one of the staff asks Lana to pitch in and deliver an order to Mr. Feng, the plaza’s property manager, little did she know it would end up puttin
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

As soon as I saw this cover I was all like . . . .

And also I love the occasional cozy mystery so I knew I had to check it out. Then I did what I do best and let my library checkout expire not just once, but nearly three times before finally reading it. In my defense, these types of books are definitely “right place/right time” reads for me. Yesterday not only was I suffering from . . . .

Stephen Robert Collins
Sweet n Sour pork & noodles on the side a Chinese takeaway Dumpings in sour soup for Lana Lee when murder is an extra side portion of Shrimp dumplings for fish allergic Mr Feng. Who has put lot of local business in that he rents up & made lot of enemy's so lot of people are mad.
This has the Chinese food in it & has good easy to read feel it just good light mystery & the first volume to new series.
But all I can see here is Francine From American Dad & here her Parents Ma &
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This was a fun little debut cozy set in a Chinese neighborhood in Cleveland. I liked that the amateur detective, Lana Lee, is a bit of a failure at life, recently moving back in with her parents and waitressing at the family restaurant. Because of this she gets pulled into a murder-by-poison situation, and decides to take things into her own hands.

I can't ever say much about mysteries because the uncovering of details is the pleasure of the book, but I was never bored.

Thanks to the publisher fo
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery

I really enjoyed reading Death by Dumpling- the first book in the Noodle Shop Mystery series- even though it took me a while to read it from start to finish. It didn't take me a long time because it's not a fun book to read, but because life can get busy at moments and takes time away from reading. With that being said, this is a great start to a brand new cozy mystery series and I have every intention of reading all of the books that come after
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great start to this Asian "flavoured" cozy mystery. I loved this unique setting in the Asian Village Plaza a shopping mall with little Chinese shops.

When the property manager of the Village Plaza is killed with dumplings from the restaurant owned by Lana's family she wants to find out who killed the man. Lana and her roommate Megan make a great sleuthing team.

A very good mystery with just a touch of romance sprinkled on top. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

I requested this
☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
I really enjoyed this novel and it definitely was one of a kind! I picked up this novel because I worked in a Chinese restaurant for about five years before I became disabled and I became very close to my bosses and was even manager at the end. The reason I bring this up is because not only could I relate to this novel by knowing the ins and outs of working in a Chinese restaurant, I could relate to being around Asian cultures and how they talk. All of the things Lana was told I have been told b ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

While not a fan of Chinese food, this cover caught my attention, plus it was the first book in a new series so I added to my Kindle immediately.

Lana Lee has grown up working in her mother’s restaurant but never expected to back working there now. Her mother is quite pleased because having her close means she can work on finding Lana a husband. That is the last thing on Lana’s mind.

The restaurant is part of the Asia Village. A plaza that is part of the original Chinatown area o
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing initial book in a series. The setting is uncommon in a cozy mystery. A refreshing read about the Asian people and their culture. There was minimal food mentioned . I found that to be lacking. Figuring out who the murderer  had me thinking right up till the end. Later I'm hit with a shocking revelation I never saw coming.Lana, a restaurant server in her parents restaurant and the amature sleuth is fearless with a delightful personality. The book cover, eye-catching and lively. I can't ...more
Cute, but room for improvement is my overall comment on "Death by Dumpling."

I liked the main character, Lana Lee. Her family sounds great though she has a pain in the butt older sister. Her best friend Megan supports her no matter what and even helps out with trying to solve the crime in this one. That said, I needed more details. We hear about Lana's ex, but not his name, or what exactly was said to him when they break up. We get her memory of her quitting her job, and then that's it. I just fe
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, stars-3-5

Entertaining cosy mystery that caught my interest. I mean: yummy food (always a plus), relationships in a seemingly tight little group (but full of secrets), ‘clash’ of generations and cultures, and of course, a murder. What’s not to like? The investigation could have been a little tighter but since our ‘Nancy Drew’ is new to the task, it made sense that her progress was less than straightforward. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

I’ll be honest. The cover of this book totally caught my attention and when I learned that it was going to center around a noodle shop, I knew I had to read it. It’s not often I come across a series that is so focused on Asian culture and as an Asian myself, it made me proud to see this series.

As an avid reader of Cozy Mysteries, I was very excited to be able to try this new author. Chien’s writing immediately captures your attention. It’s fun and uplifting, with subtle touches of humor, which
Mystereity Reviews
What a charming book! This will definitely appeal to any cozy mystery reader, but I can see it being a hit with younger readers (and by younger, I mean younger than my creaky middle aged bones! Young people in their 20s or perhaps even teenagers (there's no bad language or sexual situations) would really like this.) With a sprinkle of romance, a bit of intrigue, adorable characters, a cute setting and a captivating mystery, what more can you ask for in a cozy? The Asian venue was a fresh and uni ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Grab your chopsticks! This fun first in series will make you want to dig into a plate of dumplings!
It was interesting to see a different culture represented by the noodle shop and Lana's unique ethnic background. A well planned mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I really enjoyed the two friends' antics while trying to solve the murder. The descriptions of Kikko, the pug the color of soy sauce, were spot on and so like my own pug!
I am definitely interested in reading the next book in t
Peggy R
This was a delightful debut cozy mystery for author Vivien Chien. I was hooked right from the start and very much enjoyed Lana Lee and her family. What I liked about this book was even though it was a culinary cozy, it has a different perspective in that it was focused on a multi-ethnic family. There was witty dialogue and humor, especially Lana's mother. The mystery was well done with some good twists placed throughout the story. While the identity of the killer was not a surprise the motive wa ...more
Kate ☀️ Olson
Thanks to St Martins Press for this free digital review copy via NetGalley!
I can’t believe I waited so long to read this fabulous new cozy mystery series! What a refreshing addition to the genre with a younger (late 20s) half English-half Taiwanese amateur sleuth, and her family’s Chinese restaurant as the satisfyingly upturns the “older white lady in a bookstore/knitting store/tea shop” cozy mystery trope for sure. This is the first of the Noodle Shop books and it released in
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien is the 1st book in A Noodle Shop Mystery, and a fun cozy mystery. Lana Lee returns home after walking out of her job and boyfriend. She is now working as a waitress in her family's restaurant, Ho-Lee Noodle House located in the Cleveland Area. When Lana delivers food to the landlord and he dies after eating it, she must find the real killer. There are twists and turns around every corner. I found this book to be a quick read, with a well developed plot and chara ...more
Mark Baker
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2018
Lana Lee has landed back at her parents’ Chinese restaurant as a waitress in an effort to get her life back together. She thinks she’s hit rock bottom, but she’s wrong. Not too long after delivering Mr. Feng his usual order of dumplings, the man is found dead. Somehow, he got shellfish dumplings instead of the pork he ordered. With the police looking at everyone at the restaurant, Lana starts poking around to clear herself and the rest of the employees. But is one of them really guilty?

This was
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I must admit it was the cover that made me interested in reading this book. It probably made me hungry too. After reading the book, I thought this book would appeal to younger cozy mystery readers. I thought those ages would be from YA to mid thirties. The mystery was good and it was a fast cozy read.

Now the next two books have really good covers too but I will pass in favor of a more mature sleuth.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Though this is the first in a series, and has some parts I felt were a little weak, I gobbled this book up. It was fast-paced, and though I occasionally wanted to tell main character Lana Lee to get back in charge of her life, I enjoyed this book. I loved seeing so many first and second generation Taiwanese and Chinese characters throughout this book. I loved how smothering and caring and frustrating Lana's mother and "aunts" were. The interactions between the generations had me groan ...more
Amanda Van Parys
The 3-stars, for me, means I didn't absolutely love it but I didn't come close to hating it either. I will definitely be reading book 2, in fact, I've already checked it out from the library. This was a nice break in pace from what I find myself usually reading.

Read for the 2019 Read Harder Challenge: a cozy mystery
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien is the first book in A Noodle Shop Mystery series. A series of incidents (bad break up, quitting her job, and her parents losing a full-time server) has Lana Lee once again working at her parent’s restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House in Fairview Park, Ohio. Lana takes lunch over to Mr. Feng, the owner of Asia Village and overhears Kimmy Tran yelling at him. A short time later, Esther Chin rushes in with the news that Mr. Feng is dead. Detective Adam Trudeau arrives to ...more
The Lit Bitch
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love getting in on a new mystery series from the ground up. This book was not only a new series but it also had an intriguing title…..a noodle shop mystery??? Yes please!

When I first saw that cover I was totally sold. Not only did it sound like an interesting read but I also immediately wanted Chinese take out to commemorate the reading of this book!

So not going to lie, I got a little stalled reading this book. Not because it wasn’t good but life got in the way and I had to set it down for a f
Angela Hart
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really well done!


Megan traced a line of split wood along the bar top with her finger. “So, it’s possible that what happened last night has nothing to do with anything involving Mr. Feng’s murder?”
“Adam still wants to check it out, just to be sure,” I informed her.
She raised an eyebrow. “You’re calling him Adam now?”
“Trudeau … I meant Detective Trudeau.”
I changed the subject. “What did you have to tell me?”"

“You’ve got it coming to you.”
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! I'm not a mystery person but I'm a sucker for books like this one. They're so fun. If you're a fan of Ghost Month which takes place in Taiwan, you'll also adore this series featuring a young Taiwanese-American as it's lead.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, cozy-mystery
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien was a delicious start to a new ethnic cozy mystery series.

Lana Lee is once again working in her parents noodle restaurant after quitting her job and then breaking up with her two-timing boyfriend. She was an independent young woman who was handling a rough time as she is now having trying to decide where she wants to go in her life. When a murder investigation ensues of the property owner where her parents noodle shop is located, Vivien is determined to help the
I quite enjoyed this cosy mystery set in a Chinese mall in Ohio. The main character Lana is a young woman who works in her parents' Chinese restaurant, mostly because she's just had a bad breakup and quit her job and is just trying to put her life back together.

She delivers a lunch order to the owner of the mall who later turns up dead after a fatal allergy to shrimp in his dumplings, something he's always very careful about. And also, where's the epi-pen he always carries with him?

Something i
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
“Keep your eyes and ears open. I want you to call me if anything bizarre happens.”
Yeah, that’s totally code for “Wanna go out?”

I really liked this series and the characters. Even though I was paying attention, I didn't guess the killer until it was presented to me. There were some unresolved items that might not have had anything to do with the current story, but hopefully will be addressed in other books. Either way, it doesn't matter. I really want some dumplings and some good Chinese food.
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Vivien Chien first started writing simple stories about adventures with her classmates when she was in elementary school. As she grew up, her love of books and the written word increased, leading to the attempt of her first novel at age 16. After many struggled beginnings and several different genres, she found her passion in the mystery world.

When she's not writing, she can be found frolicking in

Other books in the series

A Noodle Shop Mystery (5 books)
  • Dim Sum of All Fears (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #2)
  • Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #3)
  • Wonton Terror (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #4)
  • Egg Drop Dead (A Noodle Shop Mystery #5)
“It is my firm belief that every once in a while, the universe will present you with a gift. It could be something very small and seemingly insignificant, but it will lead you down the right path. And usually, it’s when you least expect it.” 1 likes
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