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Arsenic and Adobo

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Arsenic and Adobo (2021) Mia P. Manansala (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen)

Arsenic and AdoboLila Macapagal has returned hom–not just to escape her cheating ex-fiance but also to help her auntie try to save their family restaurant.

Unfortunately, that means she has to deal with her family.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been stared down by an elderly Asian woman, but It. Is. Terrifying.

Even someone like me felt utang na loob, that impossible to quantify sense of indebtedness and gratitude, to the people who’d raised me. But where was that magical line between selfishness and independence? Between my family and myself?

When small-town restaurant critic (and Lila’s ex-boyfriend) drops dead in their restaurant, Lila and her family are suspects–but then so are the owners of every other restaurant in town.

First off, I loved the characters in all their variety in this story.

I almost said “just friends,” as if romantic partnership was superior to platonic friendship, but stopped myself. Adeena hated that term and idea. And I’d learned, time and again, she was right. There was no hierarchy to love.

I also loved all the food. Not just the food Lila and her family make, but the food at all the restaurants she and her friends visited.

Even though I thought with all their financial difficulties, she probably shouldn’t have been spending money dining out.

The mystery was interesting, although I didn’t quite understand why the inspector kept focusing on Lila, as there were other perfectly good suspects. I suppose he didn’t want to look like he was going easy on Lila since he seemed to have a crush on her auntie. But still.

And did I mention the food?

Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, Cozy, eBook, Female, Good, Mystery, Own Voices
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