Series: Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1
Published by Berkley on May 4, 2021
Also in this series: Murder and Mamon
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Arsenic and Adobo
Lila’s returned home to help with the family’s failing Filipino restaurant. Unfortunately, Shady Palms is a small town and she can’t escape her food blogger/restaurant reviewer ex who seems to have it out for the restaurant, consistently giving it bad reviews. Because that’s not stressful enough, the landlord who wants the restaurant off his property is her ex’s new stepdad. Yikes!
When the landlord and the ex come to eat lunch, Lila’s ire is up and she makes no bones about being angry with the ex constantly criticizing the restaurant in his reviews. And then he ends up facedown in his dessert. Dead from poisoning which makes her the prime suspect.
My thoughts about Arsenic and Adobo
This book was so much fun to read! Lila is likable and relatable – trying to figure out what she wants, feeling pressure to meet her family’s expectations. I loved her interactions with her extended Filipino family – grudges going back to grade school but knowing that they’d have her back when it mattered. The imperious gambling grandmother was terrifying and hysterical. I loved that the huge colorful cast of characters was diverse in all sorts of ways – ethnicity, religion, sexuality and even eating habits. The author did a great job of giving each character their own voice and quirks.
The food descriptions were amazing! Lila’s bestie works at a coffee shop and her drink concoctions sounded so good. The book includes recipes and chicken adobo is happening!
The mystery was well done – lots of layers and interlocking pieces, several suspects with believable motives. Plus there were hints of a love triangle – hopefully, that gets explored in future books.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto has a similar overly involved family vibe with fierce aunts. Dark humor, romance, and more descriptions of delicious food.
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron is a steamy romance between main characters with families who are exceptionally interested and opinionated about their love lives. Funny with lots of luscious food descriptions.
This fast-paced debut cozy mystery will make you laugh, cringe, and salivate simultaneously.
Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC.