When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market.
Yale and Celine serve small dishes and refreshing drinks, and while business is slow, it eventually picks up thanks to Celine’s surprisingly useful marketing ideas. They’re quite shocked that their bubble tea, in particular, is a hit—literally—when one of their customers turns up dead. Though the two cousins are polar opposites in every way, they must work together to find out what really happened to the victim, or the only thing they’ll be serving is time.
Jennifer J. Chow recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, DEATH BY BUBBLE TEA:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
The characters took shape first. I loved pitting together the two cousins who are opposites in many ways. They have a divide from their personal history and differing backgrounds but must work together to solve the case.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
Cozy mysteries are delightful to write. With a culinary cozy, I’m able to insert my love of food and cooking into the story—and I also get to do foodie research. Plus, sharing recipes is fun.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
The food stall name is inspired by discussions with loved ones about which yummy snack and drink would pair well. I also got to put some of my own past experience while working at my family’s restaurant into the novel.
Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the L.A. Night Market Mysteries. The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue, was selected as an OverDrive Recommended Read, a POPSUGAR Best Summer Beach Read, and one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. The latest novel, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, was listed as one of 10 New Must-Read Books by Bustle, one of the Best Books Released in November by BuzzFeed, and one of the Best New Mystery Books by POPSUGAR. The entire Sassy Cat series was called one of the Best Cozy Mystery Series to Read Right Now by Book Riot. Jennifer currently serves as vice president on the national board of Sisters in Crime.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.