Date(s) - 08/02/2022
Ed Lin and Jennifer Chow discuss Death Doesn’t Forget and Death by Bubble Tea.
Death Doesn’t Forget Summary:
Jing-nan, owner of a popular night market food stall, is framed for a string of high-profile murders–why does it seem like he’s always the one left holding the skewer? The fourth entry to Ed Lin’s Taipei mystery series is as hilarious and poignant as ever.
Taipei is rocked by the back-to-back murders of a recent lottery winner and a police captain just as the city is preparing to host the big Austronesian Cultural Festival, which has brought in indigenous performers from all around the Pacific Rim to the island nation of Taiwan. Jing-nan, the proprietor of Unknown Pleasures, a popular food stand at Taipei’s largest night market, is thrown into the intrigue. Is he being set up to take the rap, or will he be the next victim? The fallout could jeopardize Jing-nan’s relationship with his girlfriend, Nancy, who is herself soon caught up in the drama, and is increasingly annoyed at Jing-nan’s failure to propose to her.
Jing-nan also has to be careful not to alienate his trusty workers Dwayne and Frankie the Cat, who are facing their own personal trials. Dwayne struggles to reconnect with his roots as a person of aboriginal descent, while septuagenarian Frankie helps a fellow veteran with dementia, intertwining stories that illuminate decades of Taiwanese history.
Jing-nan, meanwhile, has to untangle the mystery of the killings while keeping his food stall afloat against hip new competition. Both his life, and his Instagram follower count, hang in the balance. (Soho Crime)
Death by Bubble Tea Summary:
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 hasn’t cooked in years, and she hardly considers Celine’s career as a social media influencer as adequate experience, but because she’s just lost her job at her local bookstore, she feels she has no choice. 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. Yale and Celine are prime suspects due to the gold flakes that Celine added to the sweet drink as a garnish. 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. (Berkley Books)