Check It Out: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Aug 2, 2021

This is Kelsey Patterson with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. 

Today, I’m recommending Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. I absolutely devoured this debut entry in her food-focused cozy mystery series.  

It might be a generalization, but in my experience many cozy mystery fans read them because they are looking for a thrilling mystery story that’s also very comforting (aka not too suspenseful, not too gory, and not too complicated). But you know what else is comforting? Delicious recipes. So, when you think about it, there’s really nothing that makes more sense than a comforting cozy mystery and comfort food, which is probably why so many authors in this genre include food in their stories. And Manansala taps into this niche of the cozy’s in such a refreshing and contemporary way. 

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all of the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love (and judgement), and is still harboring secret feelings for her best friend’s brother. 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, she takes on the tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block.

Check out Arsenic and Adobo and other mouthwatering cozy mysteries like it at the Sioux City Public Library. 

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.