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Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery Series, Book 1
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A RUSA Award-winning novel!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...
A RUSA Award-winning novel!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...
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Description-

  • A RUSA Award-winning novel!

    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…

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Chapter One

    My name is Lila Macapagal and my life has become a rom-com cliché.

    Not many romantic comedies feature an Asian-American lead (or dead bodies, but more on that later), but all the hallmarks are there.

    Girl from an improbably named small town in the Midwest moves to the big city to make a name for herself and find love? Check.

    Girl achieves these things only for the world to come crashing down when she walks in on her fiancé getting down and dirty with their next-door neighbors (yes, plural)? Double check.

    Girl then moves back home in disgrace and finds work reinvigorating her aunt's failing business? Well now we're up to a hat trick of clichés.

    And to put the cherry on top, in the trope of all tropes, I even reconnected with my high school sweetheart after moving back to town and discovered the true meaning of Christmas.

    OK, that last part is a joke, but I really did run into my high school sweetheart. Derek Winter, my first love.

    Too bad he'd aged into a ridiculous jerk with a puffed-up sense of importance and weird vendetta against my family. Pretty much tried to shut down my aunt's restaurant on a weekly basis. Odd behavior from the guy who'd wanted to marry me right after graduating from high school, but what can I say? I had exceptionally bad taste when I was younger. You're dumb when you're fifteen and hopped up on hormones.

    Heck, I'm twenty-five and still make bad decisions based on those same dumb hormones.

    Hence I was working at my Tita Rosie's restaurant rather than running my own cafe, which is what I'd been going to school for before I found out Sam was a cheating scumbag. That was right around the time my aunt sent me a distress signal, and here we are. So instead of grinding my own coffee beans or brewing the delightful loose-leaf teas I'd sourced for my dream cafe in Chicago, I now spent every morning preparing mugs of Kopiko 3 in 1 in my hometown of Shady Palms, Illinois, over two hours outside the city.

    And yes, the town really was named Shady Palms. Rumor has it some rich dude from the Caribbean got homesick after moving to the area and tried transplanting a bunch of palm trees along the main street. Surprise, surprise, they didn't take, so he replaced them with tacky plastic replicas. Both the fake palms and the name stuck.

    Anyway, the morning clientele at my tita's restaurant always included a bevy of gossiping aunties, none as loud or nosy as the group of fiftysomething-year-old women I privately referred to as "the Calendar Crew." Their names were April, Mae, and June-they weren't related, but all three of them were completely interchangeable, down to their bad perms, love of floral patterns, and need to provide running commentary on my life.

    It was their due-after all, they were my godmothers (yes, plural). They bore the important title of "Ninang" and were my late mother's best friends. They loved and cared about me.

    In their own infuriating way.

    I brought over their morning plate of pandesal and they descended like a pack of locusts upon the dish of lightly sweetened Filipino bread, spreading the warm rolls with butter and dipping them in their coffee or drizzling them with condensed milk. And like locusts, once they were done devouring one thing, they moved as a pack on to their next victim: me.

    "Lila, why's everything you wear always dark? You look like a bruha."

    "And your hair's always in that ponytail and hat. Not sexy."

    "Ay nako, what is this? You get bigger every time I see...

About the Author-

  • 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.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Danice Cabanela is the perfect narrator for this cozy mystery. Lila Macapagal returns home to Illinois after a messy breakup. She is committed to rejuvenating her Tita Rosie's restaurant, but her ex-boyfriend, Derek, runs a smear campaign to ruin its reputation. When Derek dies after Lila serves him a dish, the Macapagals find themselves under investigation. Cabanela adeptly portrays characters with diverse backgrounds. She is especially commendable voicing Lila and her Filipino-American relatives. Though her pronunciation is hit-or-miss--there are instances in which she puts the wrong stress on some Filipino words and sometimes exaggerates the accent--her charming voice shines through. Listeners will savor this treat. A.C. � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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