• Death by Dumpling

  • A Noodle Shop Mystery
  • By: Vivien Chien
  • Narrated by: Cheryl May
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Death by Dumpling

By: Vivien Chien
Narrated by: Cheryl May
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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for....

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal breakup and a dramatic workplace walkout, she figures that helping wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead set on finding her a husband. 

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead - after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? 

Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy - to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for takeout - it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order...before her own number is up.

“Vivien Chien serves up a delicious mystery with a side order of soy sauce and sass. A tasty start to a new mystery series!” (Kylie Logan, best-selling author of Gone with the Twins)

"Deathby Dumpling is a fun and sassy debut with unique flavor, local flair, and heart.” (Amanda Flower, Agatha Award-winning author of Lethal Licorice)

©2018 St. Martin's Paperbacks (P)2019 Journalstone

What listeners say about Death by Dumpling

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting setting, some narration issues

The Good: As mentioned in the review title, one of the better things about this book was the setting - an Asian shopping plaza with a lot of interesting characters with interesting shops. The author did a good job of giving various shop owners a motive to kill the guy who got killed. The main character was pretty good - looking forward to more character development in future books and I liked her friendship with her room mate. Her interactions with her family were fun to read/listen to. Maybe not the best book I've ever listened to, but I'll definitely get the next book in the series.

The Bad: Its not that the narration is terrible, its just a little . . . odd. Lots of unduly long pauses and odd emphases which made the narrator sound a little like William Shatner a la Star Trek. Also, the cop/love interest sounds like a 60 year old pack a day smoker. I kept expecting him to yell "get off my lawn" or start talking about Matlock. Added to that, he had a habit of lecturing/berating the main character for going about her life in a way made him seem like either her father or a control freak. The fact that the main character just quietly endured his tirades made me like him less and respect her less. All in all kind of killed the mood.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice cozy mystery series with potential

If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, this is a good start to a new series. I’m a voracious listener but I don’t write reviews as often as I should. I like the main characters in this series and I liked the first two stories overall - maybe not on my best ever list, but an enjoyable light listen while I’m commuting, and definitely with potential to become a good series. The narrator does pretty good voices for the characters, but there are some weird pauses that can be annoying when you’re listening. Not intentional inflection or accent, but maybe running out of breath or trying not to get tongue-tied. She does a good job most of the time, so I don’t think a new narrator is warranted, but I hope May will will become a little smoother as the series continues. I will definitely give the 3rd novel a listen when it comes out.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Awful

The plot is unimaginative and formulaic. The characters are flat and one dimensional. I returned the book and won't get another one in this series.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A 27 Year Old Going on 16 Solves a Murder

The actual story of the murder and trying to figure out who the killer was kept me reading to the end but the character acted more like a petulant teenager than a full grown adult which I found annoying. There were the eye rolls, bickering with sister and mom, tiffs with the roommate ending in door slamming, all of which made it hard to root for this character in any way. The performance lacked range as well

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Ugh

First and last book by this author..
Very hard for me to get into. Had to start it three times!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

written for 12 year olds

very simple and childlike
dragged on till the denouement.
author is sweet, story not
compelling.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

lot's of fun

i really enjoyed the mesh of culture and mystery in a light-hearted narration. good summer listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Death by Dumpling cozy mystery

Loved it. story line and all keep writing Vivien Chien I enjoyed your book will keep reading

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story- Narration a bit distracting

Loved the lightheartedness of this, the first cozy mystery I've ever listened to. It took me awhile to adjust my own expectations of what compiles a "mystery" novel to incorporate what the cozy part was going to be like. Once that happened, I started having fun with it instead of trying to listen to it as a "super serious you guys" mystery. It is not. It is a light hearted, clean, non-gory and non-triggering read. Something to while away some time and hear a good twisty plot with a lot of intertwining characters. Overall, pretty good. A note about the narration: I couldn't click with the narrator. Not sure if she were directed to make pauses in odd places, or perhaps it was simply she ran out of breath or even if the way her mind processes speech is tuned differently than what mine is- maybe she speaks other languages and it is difficult to get the cadence of each one flowing smoothly. To me, it was nearly a deal breaker early on, but continue listening. It is really quite a good story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Killer Dumplings

Lana Lee is working at her family restaurant Ho-Lee Noodle House. Landing there after a tough break up followed by a falling out at work, it's tough with her mother constantly trying to bring up her love life, but it's not too bad of a gig. Things are pretty lax there for the most part. That is until Mr. Feng, the property owner ends up dead. Even more shocking is that it seems he was intentionally given dumplings containing shrimp replacing his ordered specifically from Ho-Lee Noodle House causing him to go into anaphylaxis shock. Everyone at the restaurant knew about Mr. Fengs severe shellfish allergy, so how did he end up with an order of shrimp dumplings? All fingers point to Lana and Peter, a cook at the restaurant. Lana doesn't believe for a second that Peter did it. Determined to clear her family's name as well as her own, Lana, along with her best friend Megan, set out to investigate what really happened. During her investigation, secrets begin to surface, lengthening the suspect list. Can Lana and Megan uncover the truth before someone else gets hurt?
I have been eying this cozy mystery for a while now. I finally decided to pick it up over the weekend and honestly would have finished the same day I started, but well, life lol. I got the audio version of this book and I really enjoyed it. The narrator did a pretty good job. I really enjoyed this book. It was cute, entertaining, the perfect amount of mystery, and a dash of romance. I love cozy mysteries like this to break up the more intense books I read. I would definitely recommend this book, which is actually the first book in a series. So if you're looking for a new cozy mystery series, try this one out. I'll keep you posted! Happy reading! I rate this ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah Wilmot
  • 08-20-19

fun first book in mystery series

I loved this - a different take on the culinary cozy mystery. Book 2 now!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JD
  • 04-12-22

Lighthearted murder mystery!

Lighthearted and murder mystery definitely sound like juxtaposed concepts, but this story was just that. :) It kept my on my toes and I felt like I was friends with the main character and working through all the clues with her. I really enjoyed this as I was looking for something that would hold my interest but wasn't too heavy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elucidate
  • 09-15-21

cozy murder mystery

I enjoyed this book. I felt like a murder mystery but didn't want anything too depressing or heavy and this was perfect.