Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P Manansala // Book Review

This was such a great read for vacations because it’s engaging enough to keep you interested, but perfect when family or friends draw your attention away. Mind you, I was totally caught off guard when the true killer was revealed.

Here’s more about Arsenic and Adobo

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…

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My thoughts

I read most of this book on the plane while I was on vacation and it has to be the best book for that kind of trip. If you need something to engage you while you’re traveling across the country, I highly recommend this book for its funny lines, it’s cozy mystery, and the food. OMG the food! This book has a little bit of everything for everyone, so if you’re into genre-bending books that are a lot of fun, then you’ll really like this book.

It’s about Lila who’s recently come home after a pretty terrible break up. While she’s figuring out the next steps of her life, she decides to help out at her auntie’s restaurant. And the day her high school ex comes into the restaurant to review the place for the local paper, he ends up dying in a plate of food. The rest from there is an attempt to clear Lila’s family’s name, come to terms with who she knew her ex to be, and discovering a little bit more about herself.

This story carried with it a lot of depth. I thought the focus of the book would be on the mystery alone, but I loved getting to know Lila, her hopes and dreams, and see all the delicious food she makes for her friends and family. Of course, she’s got herself a dream to open her own place and I felt like she would do really well in that department. But I loved that this was more than a small town looking to figure out the killer. I loved that it even showed how imperfect the people in town were. It felt really human and that made me continue reading.

I also loved how complex the mystery turned out to be. Like I said, I had no clue it turned out to be the person it turned out to be, but I had my inklings and I felt like I was half right. In many ways, the mystery part was really sad. Despite not knowing who actually did the killings, the results leading up to it made my heart hurt.

There’s also a lot of characters and suspects to consider! Because no one liked the food critic, there were many people who could have easily done it. I thought it was fun to keep track of everyone like a big game of Clue to finally discern the murderer.

Overall, I loved it and maybe it was because I was on vacation and didn’t want anything too complicated. It made me laugh, it made me hungry, and it surprised me.

One thought on “Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P Manansala // Book Review

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