My name is Lila Macapagal and my life has become a rom-com cliché. ~ Opening of Arsenic and Adobo
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala is one of my favorite cozy mysteries of the year. Lila Macapagal finds herself the prime suspect when an ex-boyfriend, a food critic, ends up dead after eating at her Tita Rosie's restaurant. The business had already been struggling, the landlord is ready to kick them out, and the dead man's cruel reviews had not helped any. Aided by her best friend and her nosy auntie network, Lia begins her own investigation into who would kill her ex and why.
I am so happy to see more cozy mysteries being published that feature people of color these days, this one featuring a Filipino-American and her family. I took to Lila right away. She was betrayed by an ex-boyfriend (not the food critic) and has returned to her hometown recover. She is smart and funny, and makes a pretty good amateur sleuth. She grows as a character over the course of the novel, something I really appreciated. I also liked that the author did not shy away from touching on racism and living between two different cultures. Obviously given this is a cozy mystery, these issues are not explored in great depth due to the type of book this is, but it is enough and, I believe, necessary. The author fits them very naturally into the story being told.
I enjoyed spending time with Lila, getting to know her friends and her aunties. She has a strong support network that obviously are very loyal to each other. The mystery itself was well-crafted, the characters and their relationships complex, and I loved the author's wit throughout. I look forward to reading more of this series in the future.
Challenges Met: Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge & Spring COYER Challenge
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Chikara Press, 2021
Crime Fiction/Historical; 206 pgs
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Arsenic and Adobo sounds like a fun cozy mystery! The fact that it's got Tagalog culture sounds especially appealing!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - It really was an enjoyable read!Delete
The arsenic title brought back memories of years ago where the press went to town over a murder and called it Arsenic and Old Lace. That would have been a good story. A mother in law and son doing away with their daughter in law. Enjoy your reads and have a good week. We are now in a partial lockdown. No travel between provinces.ReplyDelete
Mystica - That wound have been a good story! I am sorry to hear you are in partial lockdown again. Take care of yourself and stay safe.Delete
OMG, I am on pins and needles for Arsenic and Adobo to be released here -- and I am so excited it's so good!ReplyDelete
Verushka - I hope you enjoy it when you read it! It's worth the wait!Delete
Two more fun reads...yay! :)ReplyDelete
Lark - I have been lucky this year so far in my reading choices.Delete
Ooh! Arsenic and Adobo sounds like a read I'd enjoy. It certainly the type of novel I've found myself more drawn to of late.ReplyDelete
As for your second book... Hmm! I'm not sure about The Arrangement. Its one of those books I'd probably read if given the opportunity but it certainly isn't a book I could see myself buying, less still, rushing to do do.
Felicity - If you do read it, I hope you will like it!Delete
Arsenic and Adobo sounds fantastic and I love a cozy with a big family. Adding that one to my TBR!ReplyDelete
Katherine - Me too! I hope you enjoy it if you read it!Delete
I just got my hands on a copy of Arsenic and Adobo and cannot wait to read it. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! The Arrangement also sounds really good!ReplyDelete
Carole - I hope you enjoy Arsenic and Adobo as much as I did. The Arrangement is really good too!Delete
These both sound fantastic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Anne - Books of My Heart
Anne - Both were really good. I am glad I had the chance to read them. And just what I need . . . two more series to add to my list of ongoing series. LOLDelete
Aresenic and Adobo sounds like a good read. I haven't read cozy mysteries, but this looks fun.ReplyDelete
I loved Arsenic and Adobo. It was really good. :-)Delete
Oh both of these sound good! I always love to have good mysteries on my list and definitely keeping these suggestions.ReplyDelete
Iliana - I hope you like them if you decide to try them.Delete