A young woman’s plans to straighten out her life must make room for murder.
Lana Lee has already broken up with her boyfriend, quit her job, started working for her parents at the Ho-Lee Noodle House in Cleveland, and solved a crime (Death by Dumpling, 2018). Now she wants to get her life back on track by finding a better job and working on her relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau. After lining up a job interview, she’s blindsided when her mother asks her to manage the restaurant for a few weeks while she goes to Taiwan to take care of her own mother. Her sister, Anna May, who’s in law school, makes it clear that she’s even less pleased that Lana will be in charge. Disaster strikes when Lana’s newest friend, Isabelle Yeoh, and her husband, Brandon, are found dead in their souvenir shop next door to the restaurant in Asia Village. At first it appears that Brandon killed Isabelle and committed suicide, but the autopsies reveal an even darker truth. Despite repeated warnings from Adam, Lana can’t let her friend's death go without investigating. Although she was sure the couple were deeply in love, Brandon did seem to spend a lot of time away from the shop. Further complications arise when his ex-wife, Constance Yeoh, turns up claiming the store was left to her, followed by a second ex-wife who also claims the store. Lana’s snooping uncovers Brandon’s gambling habit, and she wonders whether that’s why he was killed. Despite getting her tires slashed, receiving threatening notes, and juggling more suspects than she ever imagined, she manages to hunt down the truth while keeping the family restaurant on course.
A worthy sophomore outing provides plenty of twists and turns and a perky, albeit conflicted, sleuth.