First Line: "'If you tell anyone about this, I'm gonna have to kill you,' I said, staring my best friend squarely in the eye."
Summary: Lana Lee has been managing her family's Chinese restaurant for several months. Her sister has been giving her a hard time due to her lack of Asian cuisine cooking skills. When Lana sees a notice for an adult course in Chinese cooking, she decides to sign up. It seems ridiculous, even to her, that a person managing a Chinese restaurant wouldn't have a clue how to cook the food. However, she is too proud to ask her friend and cook, Peter Huang, to show her how to cook a few dishes.
After class, she approaches the teacher, Margo Han, and asks if she would be willing to give her individual lessons. Margo agrees and takes Lana's business card. As Lana begins heading home, she realizes she forgot to pick up the grocery list needed for next week's class. She quickly turns her car around and goes back to the school hoping the teacher hasn't left yet. When she returns to the classroom, she finds Margo Han face down on the floor with a knife sticking out of her back. Her scream brings the janitor who calls the police. Unfortunately, Lana and the janitor are at the top of the detective's suspect list. Since the detective is dead set on Lana as a suspect, she starts asking questions to see if she can figure out who would want to stab Margo in the back.
My thoughts: I always enjoy catching up with Lana and all that is going on at Ho-Lee Noodle House.
This series has some really great characters. There is Lana, who is a spunky, capable young woman. Her roommate, Megan, who is a good friend and partner in solving crime. There is Lana's other good friend, Kimmy Tran, who is loud, obnoxious and does not get along with Megan. There is Lana's family - her mom, dad, sister and grandmother. They didn't play as much of a role in this book, but still made a few appearances. The relationship Lana has with all of them is very realistic. She loves them dearly and tries to please them, but sometimes they annoy her. Then there is Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana's boyfriend. It was a nice change to have a different detective handling the actual murder case in this book. And we can't forget Kikko, Lana's black pug, who is forever needing a little exercise and is never too busy for a snuggle on the couch.
Unlike some of the other mysteries Lana has worked on, this one involved someone she didn't previously know. She had very little to go on and had to do some extra digging. Kimmy ended up being her side-kick for much of the sleuthing, which added an element of tension, because you never know what Kimmy will say. As Lana discovered information, she would often try to pass it on to the detective in charge of the case, but he usually wasn't very interested. This caused her to take a few added risks, but usually she let Adam know ahead of time. While he would prefer that she stay out of it, he often sees that her plans might actually work. There were a few twists and turns that threw me off, but it was all unraveled in the end.
This was a fun installment in the Noodle Shop Mysteries and I look forward to another visit soon.