Death by Dumpling—A Delicious Mystery

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien book cover
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

Death by Dumpling, by Vivien Chien and the first in the A Noodle Shop mystery series, is a cozy mystery that follows Lana Lee’s amateur investigation into the murder of her family’s restaurant’s property manager Mr. Feng after Lana accidentally delivers him lethal dumplings.

1—The Plot

The plot kicks off when Lana’s mother’s best friend Esther comes running into the restaurant with news that Mr. Feng is dead. Initially everyone thinks it’s an accident—Mr. Feng had serious shellfish allergies. But Detective Trudeau, of the Fairview Park Police Department, thinks it was murder. What’s more, he seems convinced that the Lee’s cook, Peter, is the killer. Lana can’t believe that the boy she grew up with is a cold-blooded murderer and set out with her best friend Megan to prove him innocent. But Peter’s suspicious behavior casts doubt in even Lana’s mind. Continue reading “Death by Dumpling—A Delicious Mystery”

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle—Fun Fluff With Heart

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie poster
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a stand-alone sequel to the original Jumanji movie. It follows five kids after they get sucked into a video game that that used to be a board game. Once there, they must conquer obstacles and survive to return home.

1—The Beginning

In the beginning—1996—the board game Jumanji was found on the beach and taken home to a kid who says “who plays board games anymore?” and goes back to his video game. So in the middle of the night the game changes itself into a game cartridge. The hapless kid puts it in his console and is never seen again. Continue reading “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle—Fun Fluff With Heart”

Get Smart (2008 movie)—Many Kinds of Humor

Get Smart
Get Smart

Get Smart is a movie based on the ‘60s parody sitcom tv series of the same name. The movie follows Maxwell Smart, the best analyst in the US government secret agency CONTROL. When the identities of CONTROL’s secret agents are leaked by a mole, Max finally gets his dreamed for promotion to agent.

1—The Humor

As stated above, there are many kinds of humor in Get Smart. Slapstick, situational, puns and wordplay, etc. But it’s all character driven. I liked most of it, but as with all humor, your mileage may vary. Max—played adeptly by Steve Carell—is at the heart of much of the humor, as befits the main character, and some of my favorite moments come from his outspoken candor and self-honesty. But everyone else gets their moments too. Continue reading “Get Smart (2008 movie)—Many Kinds of Humor”

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium—Fight or Flight and For the Emperor

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium by Sandy Mitchell book cover
Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium by Sandy Mitchell

Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium is an omnibus volume containing the first three Ciaphas Cain books, as well as three short stories. They’re by Sandy Mitchell. Fight or Flight is the very first Ciaphas Cain story and For the Emperor is the first book. The stories take place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe—where the term “grimdark” originated from—but Ciaphas’s stories are a more humorous take on it all—Ciaphas, despite his heroic reputation, is a self-centered near-sociopath and it’s his commentary on things that lend the comedy. Not that there isn’t a hefty bodycount in these military scif stories.

The stories are presented as Cain’s private memoirs, which have been placed under Inquisitorial seal, and the book has been annotated by said Inquisitor.

1—Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight follows the newly minted Commissar Cain on his very first mission. He has no heroic reputation yet, and has finagled his way into a post with the Valhallan 12th Field Artillery on a little backwater planet that should see little to no action. Of course, that doesn’t turn out to be the case, and the events that follow in the wake of a tyranid invasion start Ciaphas on the path to that glorious reputation. Oh yes, and this is also the story where he meets Jurgen and Jurgen’s smell. Continue reading “Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium—Fight or Flight and For the Emperor”