Review: Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chien

The Ho-Lee Noodle House takes its business to the next level―only to end up in hot water.

It was supposed to be a fancy, intimate dinner party by the pool. Instead, Lana Lee’s first-ever catering event turns into full-course madness when a domestic worker is found dead. Is the party’s host Donna Feng, the sweet-and-sour owner of the Asia Village shopping plaza where Ho-Lee is situated, somehow to blame? That’s what Lana―whose plate is already plenty full with running the restaurant, pleasing her often-disapproving mother, and fretting over her occasionally-serious boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau―must find out.

Before the police arrived at the crime scene, Donna had entrusted an odd piece of evidence to Lana: a thumb drive shaped like a terra-cotta soldier. Now it’s up to Lana to lead her own investigation, digitally and in real life, into a world of secrets involving Donna’s earlier life in China, whether the victim had a dark agenda, and if the killer is still out there. . .and plans to strike again.

Egg Drop Dead by Vivien Chien. Book # 5 in the Noodle Shop Mystery series. Paperback, 310 pages. Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, March 2020.

I’ll just jump right to the point on this review. Something was really off with Egg Drop Dead! I normally love this series. But this one… I don’t know what happened, it was just not as good as the others. :/

One of the big, GLARING problems with this outing was that the killer was ultra obvious within the first few chapters! Yet somehow it took Lana waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too long to figure it out. It just made Lana look really dumb. 😦 She should be better at this stuff by now! She normally isn’t this stupid. Obvious killer + stupid main character = ruined the book for me.

That wasn’t the only dumb thing Lana did in Egg Drop Dead. :/ For some reason she hid / liked about things from her cop boyfriend… but…. he was ok with her sleuthing! So why lie about it?? It didn’t make any sense at the very end either. All Lana had to do was wait 30 minutes for him to show up, then they could BOTH go check out her hunch. :/ But instead, Lana lies to him, says she needs more time to get dressed, just so she can just go in to a dangerous situation ALONE with no back up and nobody knowing where she went. WHY??! There was zero reason for this behavior and the explanations we got were duds.

The plot felt thing, I think? Maybe that was a big part of the problem here? It felt like… a lot of spinning our wheels on filler, going in circles. When the killer was so obvious, you just can’t afford to have the main character stuck in a hamster wheel 95% of the book. It makes the story feel weak, the main character look bad and it leaves the reader feeling frustrated.

I really love this series, and I hope that the next book in the series gets back on track. The series and characters are awesome, and I will definitely read the next one in the series…. but Egg Drop Dead was just not a lot of fun, sadly. 😦


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