Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo


Title: Arsenic and Adobo
Author: Mia P. Manansala
Publication Date: 2021
Publishing House: Berkley

This is a book that I got from Book of the Month this spring. With the move and traveling I hadn’t had time to read it until recently. I have used this book club to help me find books to explore different cultures and parts of the world as I read.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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…

This book is a fun quick read. Okay, murder mysteries typically aren’t fun but this one is filled with some fantastic relationships. Lila also actively works on those relationships with family and friends throughout the books. Sometimes she is hard on herself but that makes the story more real, aren’t we all hard on ourselves?

This books describes some fantastic food. Seriously, this book made me hungry. I’m a good cook but I don’t know how to make any of the Filipino dishes described in it and I would love to have the opportunity to try some.

This story is about a Filipino-American family in small town America. In addition to looking a family relations within the Filipino culture, it explores a bit into how immigrants are treated in American, even those born in America to immigrant parents.

I suggest this book to those who enjoy murder mysteries, to those that love food, and to those that want to explore stories about other cultures written by a person from that culture. Happy reading.

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