Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Title: Arsenic and Adobo
Author: Mia P. Manansala
Genre: Adult Mystery / Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

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…” (Goodreads)

Before this book I had never read a Cozy Mystery before. I have read books in the Mystery / Thriller genre but it was nice to read something less thrilling that still kept my attention and had me trying to guess the outcome of the murder!

Lila Macapagal has recently moved back to help her aunt and grandma with the family restaurant. She hasn’t had the best of time being back as her ex-boyfriend is a dillweed. Seriously, he is the worst! Now there has been a death at the restaurant and she must investigate to clear her name with the help of family, friends, and others in the community.

This book has a lot of togetherness whether it comes from the community or those closer to her like friends and family. I am always here for bonds like that because it just shows how caring those around us can be, even from people you don’t really know. Her friendship with Adeena is a great one but they do have their struggles as well. I liked seeing them work through it. I also loved her familial bonds! It reminded me a lot of the one from Dial A for Aunties.

When it came to the plot I was pleasantly surprised with the mystery of it all. I kept thinking I had it figured out but I was completely off! I really had no idea until just right before the big reveal, ha. It kept me intrigued and I honestly binged the whole book. It was hard to put down.

There is also a lot of talk about food. I liked the glossary in the beginning to help with pronunciation and giving a description of what it is. I have ate lumpia before and boy, did it make me hungry for it!

Overall, this was a really fun read. I’ll definitely be checking out more Cozy Mysteries and can’t wait for the next installment of this series.

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