The official site of author Ed Lin.

99 Ways to Die


Reviews for Ed Lin

Stellar . . . Lin effortlessly blends humor, plausible plot twists, and the politics and economics of contemporary Taiwan.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

A sidewalk noodle shop in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market during summer’s Ghost Month is the vivid backdrop . . . The plot twists come fast and furious as the story reaches its climax. Come for the exotic food and fascinating setting; stay for the characters.

The Boston Globe

Pure and perfect suspense and a book that is almost impossible to put down.

Crimespree Magazine


A Taipei Night Market Novel

In Taipei, Taiwan, the kidnapping of a Mainlander billionaire throws national media into a tizzy—not least because of the famous victim’s vitriolic anti-immigration politics.

Jing-nan has known Peggy Lee, a bullying frenemy who runs her family’s huge corporation, since high school. Peggy’s father has been kidnapped, and the ransom the kidnappers are demanding is not money but IP: a high-tech memory chip that they want to sell in China.

Jing-nan feels sorry for Peggy until she starts blackmailing him into helping out. Peggy is worried the kidnappers’ deadline will pass before the police are able to track down the chip. But when the reluctant Jing- nan tries to help, he finds himself deeper and deeper in trouble with some very unsavory characters—the most unsavory of whom might be the victim himself.


At the start of Lin’s stellar third Taipei Night Market novel (after 2016’s Incensed), Jing-nan Chen, who “makes the best skewers and stews in the Shilin Night Market,” receives a distress call from high school classmate Peggy Lee. Peggy’s wealthy businessman father, Tommy Lee Tong-ming, “who controlled some of the most powerful tax-dodging entities in Taiwan” and is also Jing-nan’s landlord in the market, has been brazenly kidnapped at a banquet. Since a police escort was present, the Taipei PD is desperate to keep their embarrassing security lapse private. Peggy asks Jing-nan to get involved after the kidnappers demand the design for a “power-efficient mobile chip” that they insist is in her father’s files, despite her ignorance of its existence. Jing-nan reluctantly agrees to reach out to a relative with underworld connections as well as to his girlfriend’s former lover, a tech executive imprisoned for bribery who might know the design’s location. Jing-nan has three days to come up with results before the kidnappers’ deadline expires. Lin effortlessly blends humor, plausible plot twists, and the politics and economics of contemporary Taiwan.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
The latest installment in Lin’s “Taipei Night Market” series (after Ghost Month and Incensed) is as quirky and darkly humorous as its predecessors. All the books are set in the crowded Taipei night market scene, which is instrumental in the abundance of complex and sometimes absurdly funny characters. In this title, protagonist Jing-nan Chen is coerced by his lifelong frenemy Peggy Lee into finding and freeing her father, Tommy Lee Tong-ming, who has been kidnapped by thugs. Tommy is the extremely wealthy landlord of nearly every stand at the market, including Jing-nan’s Unknown Pleasures noodle stall, and he is rumored to be involved in money-laundering schemes. The kidnappers don’t want money, though. They demand a much-coveted memory chip as ransom, planning to sell it to China. Lin takes readers on a whimsical ride along with the reluctant Jing-nan, the overbearing Peggy, and some very shady characters, deftly mixing comedy, mystery, and drama in a page-turning story. VERDICT This will appeal to readers who enjoy dark comedy, drama, and some very unexpected plot twists.—Adriana Delgado, West Palm Beach, FL
Library Journal

Readers don’t have to wait long—not even to the end of page one—to get to the setup for Ed Lin’s latest Taipei Night Market mystery, 99 Ways to Die. There has been an abduction of a prominent businessman, who happens to be the father of protagonist Chen Jing-nan’s erstwhile classmate Peggy Lee (not the husky-voiced jazz singer Peggy Lee of “Fever” fame, but rather the youngest daughter in a family of Taiwanese aristocrats). The kidnappers’ ransom demands are not for money; instead, they want access to a computer chip, which Peggy Lee claims to know nothing about. But chances are good that Peggy Lee is playing for time and saving face in a society where face is everything. Jing-nan, for his part, is not someone you’d think of as a PI—he runs a popular food shop in a Taipei night market—but Peggy Lee is headstrong, and if she wants Jing-nan on the case, he has little choice but to assent. 99 Ways to Die is the third in the series and is the most fleshed out of the three. Ultimately, Lin’s books are most appealing for the insider’s look at Taiwanese culture, the motley crew of supporting cast and the multiple laughs per page.–Bruce Tierney
Book Page