Arsenic and Adobo, a buddy review by Allyson and Cat

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Arsenic and Adobo
Mia P. Manansala

Published May 4, 2021
By Berkley
336 Pages

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Arsenic and Adobo, written by Mia P. Manansala, is the first novel in the Tita Rose’s Kitchen Mystery. It’s cozy mystery series, which means that there will be a lot of death and light humor involved.

Lila Macapagal was forced to move back home following a pretty rough breakup. In her small town, moving away – and staying away – was about the worst crime Lila could commit. Now that she’s back, she’s facing several difficulties. But she does love helping Tita Rosie’s restaurant, right up until a customer drops dead right in front of her.

Allyson’s Review


Arsenic and adobo was my first choice in the book of the month box and I just couldn’t wait to drive into it. Lila has returned home to Shady Palms to help her aunt run a restaurant when suddenly her ex-boyfriend drops dead while eating dessert, just after an argument with Lila. Lila becomes the prime suspect, therefore her best friend, Adeena, and her start their own investigation trying to clear Lila’s name.

This book was such a fun read! It did take me a minute to get used to the writing style, but after that, I could help but keep turning the pages as twists were revealed. This is the perfect murder mystery to read if you want something relatively light and quick to read. I love all the different cultures represented in this book as well, I thought it was done well. The mystery was not easily solved in my opinion. At different points in the book I suspected different people. I did eventually figure out the murderer but not until about ¾ of the way into the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something quick to read that will hold you interest.

Cat’s Review


First, can we just take a minute to talk about that cover? I sincerely think that I would have read this book for the cover alone, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. It’s fun and quirky and tells me a lot about this mystery series.

I am pleased to announce that the content inside lives up to the expectations set by that cover. Arsenic and Adobo is a light, entertaining, and sometimes comical novel following a series of crimes in a very small town. While it did have some darker moments (a guy did die, after all), overall, it really does fit into the ‘cozy mystery’ theme.

I really loved Lila’s perspective and all the struggles she seemed to keep coming up against. However, I’ll confess that I’m more than curious to see what sort of events will happen in the next novel. Is Shady Palms going to be the next Cabot Cove?

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