I received a gifted galley of ARSENIC AND ADOBO by Mia P. Manansala for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Publication Date: 5/4/2021
Rating: 3.5 / 5
ARSENIC AND ADOBO follows Lila, a young woman who has moved back home to help her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. Her life seems to be gearing up for prime rom-com material with a return home, matchmaking godmothers, reconnecting with her ex… Unfortunately it makes a big turn off the tropes when her ex turns out to be a jerk of a food critic winds up dying right in front of her. Suddenly she and her family are suspects in the murder and the restaurant is shut down. Lila takes on the task of getting answers so she can clear her name and get her family’s restaurant back on track.
I had some mixed feelings about this one and in the end it was really just probably not a great fit for me. The narration in this one is written from Lila’s POV and it is very casual and very conversational in nature, full of slang. Lila is in her early to mid 20s and the narration is therefore appropriately young in nature and that isn’t really a style of reading that I look for in a book. Lila was also very impetuous, prone to making snap judgements and bad decisions that could be frustrating at times.
I do love a good food based book and this book definitely lived up to my expectations on this front. This isn’t a book that you should be reading hungry! There are some great sounding recipes at the back of the book as well! The cultural representation in the book was also fantastic to read. There were also a couple of twists I didn’t predict which was great!
There are a lot of glowing reviews for this book, so I encourage you to check those out. I think for those who enjoy a casual narrative style and love a good food based cozy mystery, this is a book to keep on your radar! ARSENIC AND ADOBO is out today!