Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Book: Arsenic and Adobo

Author: Mia P. Manansala

Genre: Fiction; Cozy Mystery; Own Voices

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Format: Physical book

Length: 336 pages

Lila Macapagal is figuring it out. Sorta. She’s recently left her job, broken up with her fiancé, and returned to her small hometown to help her aunt and grandmother in their attempts to keep the family restaurant open. Then a would-be food critic (who also happens to be Lila’s ex-boyfriend) drops dead after eating dessert. With the lead detective focusing his investigation on her rather than the actual killer, Lila sees little choice but to look into the murder herself.

I appreciate books that introduce me to cultures and/or perspectives that are not my own, especially if that can be achieved within the context of something else. For example, a fun, small town cozy mystery that also gives readers a glimpse of Filipino-American culture. It was very interesting to see how different characters react to certain events based on generational or cultural ideals and perspectives. For example, Lila is ashamed and frustrated by her need to move out of the city and back into her childhood home. Meanwhile, her godmothers heartily approve and see her return as Lila finally stepping up and caring for her elder family members.

I had never heard of most of the foods Lila described, let alone tasted them. I’m interested in attempting a couple recipes in the back of the book!

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