by Julie, summering in Somerville
I love discovering new series, and am thrilled to welcome Jennifer J. Chow to the blog today so that she can tell us about her new LA Night Market series. The premise is wonderful, and Jen lets us in how it all started.
Canai and Chai
By Jennifer J. Chow
It all started in Malaysia. My family and I loved eating the flaky flatbread, roti canai, for breakfast. You could order them with egg or other toppings, but our go-to was the plain version with a side of savory curry sauce. To add to their allure, roti canai was super cheap to buy. And who doesn’t love a deal on tasty food?
That’s when my brother, along with my hubby, came up with their café idea. They tossed around different names, wanting to pair something alliterative with the starting ch-sound found in canai. That’s how Canai and Chai was born. (Spoiler alert: Great name but poor execution since the café never came to fruition.)
What kind of drink did we get to go with the roti? Hand-pulled milk tea, also known as teh tarik. Nothing really beats its warm and frothy combo. If only we could take all this back with us to the States…
When I embarked on writing a culinary cozy series, I knew I needed to include their stellar idea. That’s why the two cousins in my new L.A. Night Market Mysteries run a food stall with the same name. It happens that they sell their food and drinks not at breakfast time, but in the evenings. Why?
Well, I’ve had experience checking out various night markets in East Asia, the United States, and in Canada. They’re like nighttime festivals filled with good eats, exciting entertainment, and trinkets galore.
I have a strong love for good food and a fondness for fun activities. I’m still amazed that I can combine these two joys in my newest mystery books.
Share your fave foods and festivities with me!
Lefty Award-nominated author Jennifer J. Chow’s most recent cozies are the Sassy Cat Mysteries and L.A. Night Market Mysteries. Mimi Lee Gets A Clue was one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. She serves as VP of Sisters in Crime and is active in Crime Writers of Color.
Two cousins who start a food stall at their local night market get a serving of murder in this first novel of a delicious new cozy mystery series by Jennifer J. Chow, author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue.
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.