Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
My favorite cozy mysteries have some extra element to intrigue me and hold my interest, and the Auntie Lee series is a perfect example. Set in Singapore there’s an international multicultural cast of Singaporean residents who are ethnic Chinese, Indian, Malay, Eurasian, and Filipino, plus there’s lots of woven-into-the-plot tidbits about life in Singapore, including its laws--this time around especially relating to medical practices and gay rights--culture, family dynamics, and, of course, food. Auntie Lee, a wealthy widow of a certain age, runs a restaurant featuring Singaporean specialities just for the fun of it. She’s curious, nosy, likes to be around people, and is determined to be of service, even when her “services” aren’t exactly appreciated.
As this book opens Auntie Lee and her restaurant crew are catering a party that becomes the scene of two deaths: the hostess, a highly controlling local bigwig who owns her own law firm, and her bedridden formerly wildchild son. Food poisoning? That’s the easiest answer. Auntie Lee would get a slap on the wrist for being careless and everyone could just move on with their lives. The police are under pressure to accept that explanation and close the case, but Auntie Lee has other ideas. With distractingly delicious gifts of homemade delicacies and the ability to act strategically befuddled Auntie Lee pursues truth without worrying about the trouble she’s stirring up.
This is the kind of book that makes me miss hanging out with its characters when I’ve finished reading. Though the focus is on Auntie Lee the narrative point of view shifts around between the characters, and there are several developing relationships (including maybe a love interest for Auntie Lee?) that I look forward to catching up on in future books.