🇵🇭🍴Happy Pub Day to “Arsenic and Adobo” 🍴🇵🇭
Fiipina American Lila Macapagal returns home to the suburbs, putting her dreams of opening a food spot in Chicago on hold to help at her Tita Rosie’s struggling restaurant. When the local food critic, a nasty man who also happens to be Lila’s ex, falls dead after eating their food, Lila and her family are the prime suspects. With the help of her bff Adeena and her brother Amir, and a group of nosy Titas, Lila is determined to find the truth and save her family’s restaurant and reputation.
Despite the fact that while ultimately, this book was not for me, I’m so happy it exists and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I want more contemporary books by and about Filipino Americans, especially within various genres. I love that Mia Manansala chose the murder mystery route with a hefty dose of humor. Filipino culture was also at the forefront, especially the importance of family – not just by blood, but by bonds – and food. Moving forward, I refuse to accept any books that don’t have recipes in the back. Swipe for my attempt at the Tita Rosie’s chicken adobo recipe ➡️ congratulate me on not biting into a peppercorn while I was eating!
I have some issues with this book (particularly the expressions of grief and explanations of Filipino culture that felt shoehorned in for non-Filipinos), but I HAAAAVE to say that as a Filipina from the Illinois suburbs who also moved to Chicago, it was just not realistic for me that she was so disconnected from her hometown for so long! You mean to tell me that with cars AND the Metra AND Amtrak trains, she never or rarely saw her family or best friend in 3 years?!?! Her Titas neeeveeeerrr guilted her to come home to visit, or went to visit her to drop off food? 🤔
Have you read this? Let me know what you think!