Arsenic And Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
Rating: 3/5 Stars
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…
I’m gonna keep this review spoiler free! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a review so hopefully this review doesn’t up too messy. I hope y’all enjoy!
First we need to talk about this cover! I absolutely love the cover! It’s so beautiful and colorful! It definitely caught my eye when I first saw it and I pray to the book gods that the covers in the rest of the series continue to be as beautiful!
If your’e looking for a diverse read I would recommend this book for sure! There are actually quite a few different cultures in this novel. The main focus, however, is on a Filipino family though! So, you get to read about a lot of delicious sounding Filipino food. I don’t really know a lot about their culture so it was interesting to read about some of their delicious dishes and such. Definitely makes me want to know more…and try some of their food! It’s also cool because the book does include a few recipes in the back! 🙂
Let’s start with the characters. I really liked the characters and I did find them enjoyable. So, I’m excited to see this series continue because I definitely feel like there’s lots of room for this story to keep growing. I feel like there were a lot of things kind of left open even with some of the characters. If this wasn’t a series I think it would be poorly done because of how many things weren’t wrapped up. However, since this is a series I’m confident that the author is gonna wrap things up with her other novels. I don’t want to spoil anything so that’s why I’m being kind of vague, but when I say things weren’t wrapped up I’m not talking about the mystery. The mystery gets solved and you’re not left on a cliffhanger. I’m mainly talking about things going on with the characters. Like I said I really enjoyed the characters so maybe that’s why I really want to know more about them and what’s going on in their lives haha. I think it’ll continue to grow and get better as she writes more books.
I enjoyed the mystery. I wasn’t able to figure out who did it..I had some guesses but they all turned out to be wrong haha. So, I was surprised when they killer was revealed. Can’t say I was even close to figuring out…also I’m not gonna lie…over halfway through the book I was pretty confident I cracked the case. Then plot twist and I was back to square one.
I really enjoyed the tone of this book too. It’s a pretty serious thing…yanno being a murder mystery, but the tone was pretty light and fun to me. It had some humor in it and it made it such a fun read overall. It was just really enjoyable to me. It was a really good break from the other books I was reading because it was just so fun. It’s kind of a cheesy book with cliches and honestly I think the author did a great job making it still enjoyable to read. You know how sometimes cliches or cheesy books just make you groan and roll your eyes? I never felt this way about this book. It made me giggle and smile for sure. I’ve said it so many times but it’s such a fun read. Fun is the best word I can use to describe it even though this is a murder mystery haha.
I will say there were a few parts in the book that I felt could get slightly repetitive, just slightly. I do see room for improvement in her writing as well. She is a good writer, but there are some things that could be improved. Like the repetitiveness of certain situations. I think the building and unfolding of the story could also be improved as well. Not that it was bad or anything, but for a first book I can definitely see this author growing so much with each novel. I’m excited to follow her journey too and y’all know that’s a lot coming from me considering I don’t typically go for series’.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book! It is an incredibly fun read and like I said I’m super hyped to see where the story continue to go and to see the author continue to grow in her work. I have such high hopes and so much confidence in Mia. I know my rating may seem low, but three stars doesn’t mean it’s a bad book for me. It’s not a new favorite, but it’s definitely a fun and good read. I did enjoy it and like I said if you’re looking for a diverse read with good food 😉 then I recommend this book.
By the way this book comes out May 4th. It looks like it’s being released in paperback. So, if you are a BOTM member then I would recommend getting it from there as a hardcover. 🙂 Or if you prefer paperback then go for it. You can pre-order now too. I got my book from BOTM for April (not an ARC from the author or anything).
Anyway, I hope y’all enjoyed my review! It’s been so long since I’d done one so I figured now would be a good time. 🙂