Thursday, April 29, 2021

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala


Click here to purchase on Amazon
I love cozy mysteries. Never thought I would, but they are my go to when I want a comfort read, or something light. That goes against the fact that there is a murder or two in each mystery, I know. But if you read cozy mysteries, you know what I mean! It's the small communities, the cast of characters, and in this case--the food. 

I haven't had the pleasure of trying Filipino food, but I'm pretty sure I would love it if given a chance to try it. Food is a big part of Arsenic and Adobo, the first in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mysteries. Lila Macapagal has returned to her hometown of Shady Palms, Illinois to help out at her Tita Rosie's restaurant. She's really not happy to be back, but is escaping a just ended relationship in Chicago. 

Her high school ex-boyfriend, Derek, arrives in the restaurant and is obnoxious and a jerk. He's been visiting the restaurant every day, ordering lots of food, and then writes terrible reviews in the newspaper. He's been doing this to all the restaurants in town, causing some to close permanently. This day, however, he drops dead at the table after eating some of Tita Rosie's dishes--served by Lila. She quickly becomes the number one suspect, and the restaurant is closed down until the case is resolved. 

Lila decides she's got to figure out who killed Derek, and why. There are plenty of suspects: Derek's stepfather, and all of the restaurant owners he's angered. Can she figure it out before she's charged with murder?

I've been waiting for this book to be published for months, and I enjoyed it so much. The Filipino-American culture, the FOOD!, the family dynamics are all big players in this mystery. Lila's definitely torn between wanting to do what makes her happy, and staying to help her family. Toss in a few potential romances, and you will gobble this up! 

Available in trade paperback, ebook, and audio. 

Rating: 5/6 for a new culinary cozy mystery that is centered on the Filipino-American culture of the Midwest. Chock full of tasty food, characters you'd like to know, and a mystery that does take a bit to figure out-you'll love this mystery. 


  1. Oooo, thanks for the review of this novel!! I will have to add it to my reading wishlist!! My husband is Filipino-American and I love reading just anything written by or about Filipino culture.

    Filipino food is a must try.... And yes starting with something like adobo chicken would a good start!

  2. FYI, I wanted to let you know that you inspired me to purchase a copy of this novel!!

    Additionally, I don't know if you enjoy attending virtual author events, but Mia P. Manansala will be in conversation with Nekesa Afia @ Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas on June 1st.

    Check out the following link for more details:

  3. Hey Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoyed the book. I loved it. Can't wait to read more!