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Hot Pot Murder

Hot Pot Murder, June 2023
L.A. Night Market #2
by Jennifer J. Chow

Berkley
288 pages
ISBN: 0593336550
EAN: 9780593336557
Kindle: B0BDDMZ3BK
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
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"A Smart Deliciously Fun Culinary Cozy"

Fresh Fiction Review

Hot Pot Murder
Jennifer J. Chow

Reviewed by Sandra Martin
Posted June 7, 2023

Mystery Woman Sleuth | Mystery Culinary

In the second L.A. Night Market mystery, Yale and her cousin Celine are having a Thanksgiving hot pot gathering with other members of the AAROA restaurant group. The meat and vegetables look delicious, but when a hot pot causes an electrocution, one member exits the group forever in HOT POT MURDER by Jennifer Chow.

Jeffery Vue was the President of the Asian American Restaurant Owners Association. Upon his death, VP Derrick Tran, hopes to step into his shoes, but the other restaurant owners have different plans. Yale Yee believes that Jeffery’s death was no accident and she and her cousin, Celine, start investigating the other dinner attendees.  Yale’s East Village Night Market food booth “Canai and Chai” is the perfect place to stake out the other suspects. There’s Yale’s old high-school frenemy and fellow restaurateur, Nikola Ho, as well as his mother, Ai Ho.  Trisha Kam and Misty Patil, two prospective AAROA members, are also acting strangely. Even Yale’s own father, Ba, and the ramen noodle king, Mr. Yamada, are suspects. Yale uses her intelligence and Celine scours social media to find the truth.  They encounter wet extension cords, bad check writing, suspicious charity donations, a deliberately set sake-fueled fire, cryptic messages on food carts, and strange characters on fortune cookie wrappers. Can Yale and Celine make sense of it all to track down a killer before Yale gets frozen out of the restaurant community for good?

HOT POT MURDER is a highly successful second serving in the L.A. Night Market series. Yale and Celine are so much fun to follow as they traverse L.A. tracking down clues. Celine is tech-savvy and fashionable, whereas Yale is whip-smart and quieter. Their growing loyalty to each other is heart-warming, as they are recently reunited cousins who had not seen each other in twenty years. Together, they are no longer lonely and they form a fabulous crime-solving duo. Celine’s struggles with her visiting family are also entertaining as the young woman exerts her independence against her domineering parents. The food, family dynamics, restaurant community, and the East Village Night Market add great texture and atmosphere to the novel and keep readers entertained until the chilling conclusion. The mystery is nicely plotted with intelligent and intricate clues. The discoveries and subsequent actions are plausible and the reader never feels cheated or misled. With great writing and atmosphere, this series continues to be strong and readers will be excited for their next trip to the night market.

Learn more about Hot Pot Murder

SUMMARY

Trouble is brewing for cousins Yale and Celine Yee after a hot pot dinner gets overheated and ends in murder in this second novel of the L.A. Night Market series by Jennifer J. Chow.

Yale and Celine Yee’s food stall business is going so well that they’ve been invited to join an exclusive dinner with the local restaurant owners association. The members gather together for a relaxing hot pot feast…until Jeffery Vue, president of the group, receives a literal shock to his system and dies. 

Everyone at the meal is a suspect, but the authorities are homing in on family friend Ai Ho, owner of the restaurant where Jeffery was killed—and Yale’s dad is a close second on their list. Yale and Celine step up to the plate and investigate the dinner attendees: the association’s ambitious VP, a familiar frenemy, a ramen king, a snacks shopkeeper, and a second-generation restaurateur. It’s up to the detecting duo to figure out what really happened before their friends and family have to close their businesses for good.


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