Series: A Noodle Shop Mystery #9
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on June 27, 2023
They say fortune favors the bold, and Lana Lee is determined to prove that true.
Lana, now officially manager of her family’s restaurant, the Ho-Lee Noodle House, is headed to sunny Irvine, California to attend a restaurant convention with her sister, Anna May, along for the ride. The girls’ very Americanized Aunt Grace has asked them to stay in her posh rental, and as the trip begins, it seems to be just what they both needed. Even the restaurant convention proves to be worthwhile and entertaining, especially when Lana witnesses a dramatic cat fight between a fortune cookie vendor and a journalist.
Lana and Anna May can’t imagine things getting any better until they learn their aunt has yet another surprise in store for them―a swanky cocktail party hosted for the freelancers of Southern California. But on the night of the party, things go south when a close journalist friend of Grace’s mysteriously plunges from the roof top of the hotel. Even more suspicious is the fact that Aunt Grace’s friend is the same journalist Lana saw getting into a screaming match with the fortune cookie vendor at the convention.
The police rule the death a gruesome accident, but Aunt Grace refuses to accept that explanation and begs Lana for her help uncovering the truth. Lana, Anna May, Aunt Grace attempt to keep up appearances as they search for answers, but unwanted attention from suspicious colleagues and convention attendees starts to surface, causing Lana to wonder if they’ll find the killer in time…or if they’ll be the next ones pushed over the edge.
I am always excited for a new book in this series! And what I really liked about this one was the change of setting: rather than investigating a murder in Cleveland, this story sees Lana, her sister, and the aunt they’re visiting wrapped up in a murder investigation in California!
As much as I love seeing Lana and her BFF Megan team up to solve mysteries, I enjoyed seeing her have to work with her sister, with whom she does not have the closest relationship. Their dynamic intrigues me and I hope we get to see more of that in future books.
The thing is, I just wasn’t captivated by the mystery. And while I thought the change of scenery was a good way to keep things fresh this many books in the series, I really did miss the Noodle House, Lana’s parents, her boyfriend Adam, Megan, and her dog! I guess when it comes to this series, I prefer the comfort of the familiar.
But no matter where it’s happening, I love reading about Lana solving mysteries!