Vivien Chien’s Egg Drop Dead was an intriguing read from the very beginning, with a style of writing that carries readers from one page to the next. An unstable party hostess, ill experienced catering staff, and the discovery of a mysterious flash drive all play a role in pushing Donna Feng’s birthday party in a deadly direction. After a nanny suddenly turns up dead all eyes focus on hostess Donna as party planner, Lana Lee, attempts to investigate a secretive past. Will she discover the true murderer, or unknowingly uncover details that were better left to the dead?
Aside from dating a private detective and hitting up the night life with her quarky roommate, Lana manages the Lee family restaurant. Although her parents have removed themselves from the role of leadership, they still have influence over various operations at the restaurant, as well as other endeavors. It’s not long, however, before Lana realizes the increasingly heavy weight of her workload, after she’d set out to prove her dependability not so long ago. Experience and responsibility set Lana a notch above the rest, as her sister struggles to earn a stable position in the world.
A number of questions come to mind after reading through the first few chapters, especially in regard to Lana Lee’s swift action in supporting Donna Feng. Lana’s instinct to defend Donna’s honor, especially after a murder has taken place at her party, is particularly strange. Does Peter’s connection to Donna’s twin daughters tie him to the murder? A unique flash drive also finds its way into Lana’s possession, wherein incriminating documents and details are discovered. Information continues to trickle in at a steady pace with subsequent reading, and I found it to be an excellent method in which readers are kept engaged as they work to piece together each and every aspect of how the evening unfolded.
Throughout the book, Lana positions herself as a detective of sorts to Donna Feng. Time and time again she ignores the advice of professionals, to step aside and allow the real detectives to do their work. Those efforts are all in vain, however, as Donna is always there to reel her back in. Lana touches base with a few women, who’s name were supplied by the hostess, in order to pinpoint motive, alibis, and more. It’s not long before she realizes how disliked Mrs. Feng is within the community, regardless of her local investments and excessive charity work.
Overall, I feel Vivien Chien did an excellent job at keeping me guessing, and the ending took quite an unexpected turn. Whether I realized the true killer beforehand, or was kept in the dark until the very end, you’ll never really know. However, what you should be wondering is, why haven’t you ordered a copy for yourself? Egg Drop Dead is one of many books in the series: A Noodle Shop Mystery, and well worth the 300 plus page read.