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.
PRAISE FOR THE L.A. NIGHT MARKET MYSTERIES:
“Yale and Celine’s growing loyalty to each other, coupled with the warmth of Chow’s prose, adds extra depth, just like the tapioca balls nestled in a glass of bubble tea.”—New York Times Book Review
“A deliciously fun whodunit.”—Woman’s World
“Chow’s choice to set the mystery in a night market is a stroke of genius.”—BookPage
Jennifer J. Chow recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, HOT POT MURDER.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
Every year, during the holidays, my extended family and I eat hot pot for dinner. I’ve always been amazed that no incidents have occurred since hot pot involves boiling liquid & wires ripe for tripping.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I adore the two cousins at the heart of the story: Yale and Celine Yee. They’re opposite personalities but great friends. I also couldn’t wait to continue exploring the planned community of Eastwood Village, including its interesting side characters: dear Japanese-American sisters who are bookstore owners, an academic rival turned possible love interest, and the devoted relative who’s a dim sum eatery owner.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
Agatha Christie’s books were knocking around in my head. I really wanted to have a closed circle of suspects. What better way to do that than at a murderous dinner?
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
I wanted to highlight the two cousins, who both have Chinese ancestry, but are very different in personality and perspective. One is from the United States, and the other is from Hong Kong. Their socioeconomic status is also dissimilar. I wanted to talk about diversity, even within a narrow range of ethnicity. I must say that I enjoyed writing about cousins running a food stall together because my cousins and I also worked together at our family restaurant!
Jennifer J. Chow, writes cozies filled with hope and heritage. Her newest series is the L.A. Night Market Mysteries. The first book, Death By Bubble Tea, was nominated for both an Agatha Award (Best Contemporary Novel) and a Lefty Award (Best Humorous Mystery). It hit the SoCal Indie Bestseller List multiple times and was one Aunt Agatha’s Best of Cozies 2022, Kings River Life Staff Favorites of 2022, and one of the 2022 Bestsellers at Bel Canto Books. Jennifer currently serves as President on the board of Sisters in Crime and regularly blogs at chicksonthecase.com. She is also an active member of Crime Writers of Color and Mystery Writers of America.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.