Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala _ Book Review

Amazon | Goodreads

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 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…

[I received a physical copy for an honest review]

Arsenic and Adobo
 is the first book in a new Tita Rosie;s Kitchen Mystery series by Mia P. Manansala. I adored this so much, and it gave me the feelings I want from in a cozy mystery.

Adeena grinned. “So, we back in the game?”
I slung an arm around her. “Yep. Put on your sleuthing cap, girl. We’re on the case.”

When Lila Macapagel’s ex-boyfriend dies in front of her at her families restaurant, her life snowballs down hill and fast. She’s the number one suspect and her and her best friend make it her mission to prove her innocence. Yet murder turns out to not be the only this she’s accused of and when bodies start piling up around her, she is at risk of ending up in jail and losing her families’ restaurant/ livelihood.

Lila was a fantastic lead character. She’s headstrong, opinionated, caring, and passionate/brilliant in the kitchen. I loved the strong family dynamics in this, family is everything even if you don’t always see eye to eye. Overall she’s very relatable is her reactions to everything thrown at her. I enjoyed all the main side characters from her best friend to her nosey aunts who were at times frustrating but lovable. I could have done with the somewhat of a love triangle that Lila seemed to find herself in. I could have done without that and would totally ship her with a certain someone who wasn’t even apart of that triangle lol

Arsenic and Adobo
 is Mia P. Manansala’s debut novel, yet it in no way felt like one. While the mystery of the story wasn’t too hard to work out, it was exactly how I like my cozy mysteries. It is well written and contains a whole cast of wonderful characters that left me excited to visit them in future books. I’ll be honest it also made me hungry more than once while reading, and I loved the recipes included in the back of the book, I’ll definitely be making some of them soon!


—Written by Amanda—

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