Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Murder and Mamon

Monday, November 13, 2023

Murder and Mamon (2023) Mia P. Manansala (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery)

Murder and MamonLila Macapagal’s godmothers are getting ready to open their new business–a laundrymat–but it seems like their gossiping ways are finally going to cause them trouble, as the business is vandalized with the message “Mind Your Own Business”.

On top of that Ninang April’s niece has been sent to her for reasons that aren’t clear, but Divinia has made Lila and her friends suspicious, so they assume it was something bad.

Honestly, I didn’t have high expectations for this book, which is why I waited for it to become available at the library. Despite that, I feel like this book failed to reach even those very low expectations.


The author went out of her way to make Divinia unlikable.

According to the other aunties, Ninang April’s family was loaded, so going to a prestigious art school was no big deal for someone like Divina. But like most families in Shady Palms (including mine), Bernadette’s family toed the line between working class and middle class.

Ninang Mae said, “You didn’t help with the cleaning at all, but you show up in time to eat?”

Divina kept her eyes on the food she was piling on her plate. “I was helping your son with his errands. Remember? That long list you gave him to do?”

“Yes, but I gave it to him. He didn’t need your help, we did.”

“But you had so much help already, it’s not like there was anything for me to do,” Divina said, gesturing around the room. “I don’t know how to do any of this. And you’re the one always saying I’m in the way.”

And Lila’s friends repeatedly suggest Divinia is going to be trouble.

When Divinia was killed, this completely lessened the impact of her death. You were left to feel like perhaps she deserved what she got, rather than shock and horror at her murder.

In fact, we’re made to feel far worse about Ninang April’s injury and hospitalization than at Divinia’s murder.

That really lousy.

Next, we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Lila’s godmothers, but they’re pretty awful at times.

“Ninang Mae, I heard you sent Divina out on a lot of errands in the lead-up to your opening. What did you have her do?”

“It wasn’t just me! June had her do things, too,” Ninang Mae said, childishly throwing Ninang June under the bus to divert attention away from herself.

“I know you all like to think that your gossip is harmless—”

“That’s because it is—”

“But we have to consider that maybe something you’ve said had consequences you hadn’t intended.”

Ninang Mae shrugged. “If people don’t want to be talked about, they should’ve behaved better. Why shouldn’t there be consequences for their actions?”

And almost everyone seems to let their behavior slide.

Ninang June nudged Ninang Mae, who quickly said, “I’m so sorry, April. Please let us know how we can make this right.”

“Don’t put the burden of forgiveness on April’s shoulders,” Lola Flor cut in. “You’re the ones who wronged her. You be the ones who figure out how to fix this.”

And then I had to read this:

“I panicked, OK? It’s not like I meant for this to happen! I’m a good person. I go to church every Sunday. I was protecting Tita Ultima. I’m not a murderer! I don’t deserve to go to jail for someone like Divina de los Santos!”

On top of that, I couldn’t believe Lila failed (repeatedly) to see who the murderer was.

At least she stopped purposefully doing stupid and dangerous things.

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: 5

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