Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo

Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo

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From the Amazon listing: “

One of BuzzFeed’s Highly Anticipated Mystery Novels of 2021!

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…”

I loved ninety nine percent of this book. I have never wanted food so badly in my life. And now, I want all of it. I could taste the flavors Mia P. Manansala described.

And can we talk diversity? Oh my word, thank you. We have Japanese, Pilipino, Latina, mixed race, gay, and bisexual characters.

My favorite part? The dog has an Instagram. Like, yes. Thank you. I’m not the only weirdo who has done this. (I would keep it up if I could remember the password.)

The only, super minute, thing I didn’t like is the pseudo love triangle that isn’t really but could kind of be a thing. I’m not a love triangle chick. Been there. Done that. Got the divorce to show for it.

I absolutely would – and will – recommend this book to everyone. It was face paced. The characters are relatable. The story line is plausible. And the twist ending will have you saying, “No. not that one!”

From her Amazon Author Page:

About Mia P. Manansala

Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.

A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrastibaking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho, Max Power, and Bayley Banks (bonus points if you get all the references).

Her debut novel, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, comes out May 4, 2021 with Berkley/Penguin Random House and is the first in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter

I heard about this book from the Cozy Escape Book Club. Here’s a link to their discussion of the book.

I give this book five out of five stars.

Have you read it? Let me know what you thought of it?


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