The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes - one that might just be killer....
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her...Read More
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...
Mia P. Manansala is a writer 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2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck - Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship.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 2018-2019 mentor.
"Even though I tend to write dark, hardboiled stories in which people get hit in the face with tools, I love to read a well-written and quirky cozy mystery. Manansala has created just that with her debut novel, a tale full of eccentric characters, humorous situations and an oh-so-tricky mystery. Check this one out for the poetic prose and the mouth-watering recipes that are integral to the plot." - The Washington Post
"This book hits the exact right spot...Mia P. Manansala manages to create a murder mystery where nothing is too horrifying and you know everything will be okay in the end. And because of that, you just get to go along for the ride of trying to figure out what really happened when Lila Macapagal's ex-boyfriend Derek drops dead in front of her at her family's restaurant. I've heard it described as a 'cozy mystery' and that's exactly what it is, a perfectly cozy puzzle to solve. Also, it will make you very hungry for Filipino food--and then it delivers with recipes in the back!" - Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising
"This breeze-right-through-it mystery mystery follows baker Lila Macapagal as she investigates the murder of her ex-boyfriend, the town's too-mean food critic, after he dies over a meal in her aunt's flailing Filipino restaurant. Finding out whether or not Lila can solve the crime and save the restaurant is as satisfying as it is climactic with just the right amount of drama." - Bon Appetit
"The characters are genuine... The descriptions of food are amazing and read as good-enough-to-eat..." - Midwest Book Review
"[An] enjoyable and endearing debut cozy...Manansala peppers the narrative with enough red herrings to keep readers from guessing the killer, but the strength of the novel is how family, food and love intertwine in meaningful and complex ways. When Lila bakes her signature ube crinkle cookies, made with purple yams, we are in for a delectable treat." - New York Times Book Review
"This debut introduces readers to Filipino American food and culture, with its emphasis on family. There are cozy tropes (the close-knit community, the food business), but the emphasis on the Tagalog language, the culture, and drug dealing in a small town add gravity and individuality to this outstanding series kick-off." - Library Journal
"A super-fun read that's perfect for the beach, your couch, or any Sunday afternoon." - The Skimm
"This debut mystery has a snap and sparkle that breathes a bit of new life into the cozy genre... I wholeheartedly hope this is a kickoff to a long-lived series." - Mystery Scene Magazine
"Manansala, a Chicago Filipina, has reinvigorated tired tropes to create a multicultural, queer-friendly culinary mystery, making Arsenic and Adobo an envelope-pushing, world-expanding debut that goes down easy." - LA Times