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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
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Killer Kung Pao: 11/25/20

Killer Kung Pao

Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien is the sixth book in the Noodle Shop mystery series. Lana Lee is content now with her unexpected role as the manager of the family restaurant. With her added responsibility she's too busy to go looking for trouble, but trouble finds her anyway.

A car crash in the parking lot of the Asia Village sets in motion a series of events that will culminate in a murder by electrocution. Lana who was getting her hair colored at the time ends up having to solve yet another mystery.

There were two problems with this mystery: pacing and suspects. The set up for this murder is just so random that it didn't have the usual slow burn that builds up a particular character to be the victim and a small set of other characters who all have the motive to kill. Without that initial set up, one that typically takes around fifty pages of a book this length (280 pages), Lana is left to just interrogate everyone she hasn't vetted from previous books. Although in longer running series, such as the Book Town Mysteries by Lorna Barrett, recurring characters can and do become murderers.

What's left then is Lana essentially wasting her time and annoying fellow shop owners. When the obvious solution is revealed in a dramatic climax, one that also seemed to come out of nowhere, there's a sense of let down. Other than the out of character weapon choice at the end, the identity of the murderer isn't much of a surprise.

The next book is Fatal Fried Rice. It releases March 9, 2021.

Three stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 10:40:01

Shelleyrae @Book’d Out

It’s a shame this installment was disappointing

Comment #2: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 20:37:00


I'm still going to read the next installment. Then I'll decide if I want to continue with the series.

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