ARC Review: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

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ARC Review: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
Arsenic and Adobo
Book Info

Released: May 4th 2021
Genre: Mystery

“I absolutely could not put it down…”

~ Under the Covers

“If there were an Olympic event for avoidance, I probably wouldn’t bring home the gold, but I’d sure as heck place.”
— 𝒜𝓇𝓈𝑒𝓃𝒾𝒸 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒜𝒹𝑜𝒷𝑜, Mia P. Manansala

Lila Macapagal moves back to her hometown of Shady Palms for two reasons: one, help her aunt save the family restaurant from utter ruin, and two, heal from a terrible breakup. The restaurant side of her life means putting up with a nasty food critic (who also happens to be an ex-boyfriend) a lot of the time. When that food critic suddenly drops dead into a bowl of desserts at the restaurant, Lila becomes a prime suspect. Weird things continue to rock the tiny town, and Lila continuously finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. In order to clear her name and save her family’s livelihood, Lila takes it upon herself to try and solve the case. But the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes, and it could end up costing her everything.

This was such a good cozy mystery! There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but I loved how all of their stories tied together in order to further the plot. Due to the number of characters, the list of suspects was incredibly long, which made trying to guess who was at fault a fun endeavor.

I loved Lila as the narrator. She was a flawed woman afraid to confront her family about their wishes for her, and also hellbent on keeping her deepest darkest secret hidden from all of the people she loves. In the end, everything she does is for them. Given the fact that there wasn’t actually any real romance in this book, I’m surprised at how addictive it was. I absolutely could not put it down. I don’t typically read “cozy” mysteries, because I tend to gravitate towards mysteries that scare the crap out of me, but I loved this. I think it’s great for a wide audience.

I highly recommending it for a quick, fun, cozy mystery read.

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About Mia P. Manansala

Mia P. Manansala (MAH-nahn-sah-lah) (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.

She is the winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck - Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship. She's also a 2017 Pitch Wars alum and 2018-2020 mentor.

A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrastibaking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho, Max Power, and Bayley Banks (bonus points if you get all the references).

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