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Aunty Lee's Delights

(Singaporean Mystery #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,535 ratings  ·  308 reviews
This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie "Aunty" Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home cooking restaurant

After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could easily have become one of Singapore's "tai tai," an idle rich lady devoted to mah-jongg and luxury shopping. Instead she threw herself into building a culinary empire from her
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,535 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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The mettlesome (and meddlesome) Aunty Lee and the mouthwatering descriptions of her Singaporean cooking are this book’s special sauce, spicing up an otherwise bland and rather undercooked mystery.

In the beginning I was quite taken with this lovable busybody Aunty Lee, always cooking up a storm, and together with the setting of Singapore and the frequent foodie references, this cozy mystery was indeed shaping up to be a delight. Alas, it all fell apart rapidly, with the resolution of the whodunn
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A fun read from a well loved Singaporean author - a crime novel set at her family restaurant. First in a series and I found it in hoopla! Recommended for people who already read the Kevin Kwan novels and want more with a similar feel. I'll definitely read more in this series.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Singapore - a safe, law abiding city.
But by the shores of Sentosa Island - a tourist paradise - are two dead women.
Aunty Lee, cafe owner and busybody cannot rest until she solves the murders.

Two newly-weds take an early morning walk along the beautiful beach. . .
“Over there. It looks like a jellyfish; is it? It’s huge!”
“It’s not a jellyfish. It’s just a plastic bag . . .”
“Yes, it’s a jellyfish—I can see its body and its legs and everything. Can’t you see? I think it’s dead. Are there poisonous
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Motherly, list compiling, sharp but with a tendency to act strategically distracted, Auntie Lee is a wealthy Singaporean widow who runs a restaurant just because she’s curious (nosy) and enjoys being of service, though not everyone actually appreciates this. When the bodies of two young women wash up on the local beach Auntie Lee is convinced the police could use her help--after all, both women have eaten at her restaurant--and she’s not wrong because tasty gifts of Singaporean delicacies allow ...more
Vicky Marie
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Too many unnecessary povs. The story was bogged down with tons of back story that brought nothing to the plot, and the characters were all unlikeable. I was looking forward to this series, but alas it looks like I won't be continuing it.
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
As most of you know by know, I'm a huge mystery fan, though I tend to prefer older mysteries over the ones being written today. With very few exceptions, I'm not a fan of "cozy" mysteries, and the vast majority of modern mysteries I have enjoyed, tend to be more along the lines of a police procedural. With all that in mind, you may be surprised that I agreed to review Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu. As you can tell from the synopsis, this is what most would consider a "cozy" mystery. It's a l ...more
I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with Ovidia Yu at last year's Bouchercon in Albany. She is without a doubt one of the nicest, most gracious people I've ever met. I didn't know of her successful background as one of Singapore's premiere writers at that time, and she never allluded to it. Humble is another adjective to add to nice and gracious, as is intelligent. So, I was able to get a copy of Aunty Lee's Delights, her first published U.S. work, and have it signed by Ovidia. Now, I ...more
Irene Sauman
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a cultural as well as a culinary view of Singapore, cultural in the sense of the people and their attitudes.
Aunty Lee has opened an eatery known as Aunty Lee's Delights following the death of her husband.
She understands people by the way they eat and she applies this to solving the murders that comes her way and in dealing with relationships. These include her stepson Mark and his wife Selina, who's name Aunty Lee pronounces as "Silly-Nah", her maid Nina and Senior Staff Sergeant Salim.
3.5 stars

The title character and her cooking are absolutely the highlights of Aunty Lee’s Delights. The prose feels a bit stilted and choppy in places, and the mystery becomes overly complicated, I think. I’ve had this book on my radar for a while, and I’m glad I read it, but I doubt I’ll continue with the series.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I tend to justify this prolonged sojourn with mystery books as a vacation break. With that perspective, Aunty Lee is quite enjoyable. A well-off widow who bores easily with the upper crust life, she first starts a catering business. Then, she expands it to a restaurant and we witness her debut as an amateur detective. Entertaining but not compelling, I am sure that somewhere down the line I will pick up another book in the series.

Has Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple been the role-model for elderly
Sharon Chance
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a pure delight to read! I want an Aunty Lee in my life. This delightful, but nosy little plump Singaporean lady could go up against Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher and come out a winner.

This fun and lively mystery is fast-paced, filled with memorable characters that you will love (and in Aunty's niece-in-law's case, dislike a little!) and an intriguing mystery to boot! What more could you ask for? Plus you get to learn a whole lot about Singapore and it's foodie culture!

I adored this book a
Dawn Michelle
This was an interesting book in many ways.
This wasn't even on my radar as I had bought this for my Mom [after she bought the second book at at book sale] and then my friend that I am doing the Read Around the World challenge with mentioned that the author is from Singapore and that the mystery itself was set in Singapore and voila! we decided to read it.

I will say that this book is somewhat choppy - it seems...jumpy? if that is the right word. At certain points, I wasn't really sure just who w
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I wanted a non-North American/European based cozy for the 2019 Read Harder challenge, so I grabbed this one, which was just perfect for my needs. Charming and breezy, Yu's heroine, Aunty Lee, resembles her inspiration -- Miss Marple -- with her nosiness, compassion, and smarts. Yu focuses less on the whodunit and more on the circumstances that bred the secrets, guilt, and sorrows that inspired the crimes, which I loved. Social commentary on Singaporean life, lots of luscious food, and a lovely c ...more
Max Tang
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Before reading: I like mystery, and I love food. The book promises an adventure set in Singapore, a country that I would love to learn more about, set with the backdrop of a local diner, run by the nosy, if ultimately helpful, Rosie “Auntie” Lee. Reminds me of murder mystery dinners, and I would like to see how such a premise would play out in a book.
The Great: I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Singapore’s culture. It’s evident that the author is familiar with its culture and customs, an
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I ordered Aunty Lee's Delights after seeing the enthusiastic blurb by Louise Penny, one of my favorite authors. There were a lot of things that drew me to Ovidia Uy's detective novel. I'm a huge fan of detective cozies and I've spent plenty of time in Southeast Asia and was looking forward to a mystery set in Singapore.

Aunty Lee reminded me a bit of Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple. We learn that Aunty Lee has a reputation for solving small mysteries among her friends and acquaintances. When s
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I feel almost evil commenting on Ovidia Yu - THE Ovidia Yu who wrote all those wonderful plays but I promised her I was going to be honest with her writing effort.

Aunty Lee does follow the stereotype of all those nosy ladies who solve crimes while having other things to do in life (it's call work/life balance, guys) and she feels comfortably Singaporean (I have a sneaky suspicion Ovidia took her inspiration from a certain dining/antique shop along Katong)

The language is not flowery (which does m
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I came to this book through a search in order to recommend a crime novel for my book club. I wanted a novel about crime detection set in Asia and by an Asian author, rather than an ex-pat. Ovidia Yu's books fit the bill. I think I chose well. Aunty Lee is smart, observant and persistent - in the style of cosy, wise woman/busybody sleuths. Instead of knitting, Aunty Lee cooks. In the style of some US cosy crime, the book comes with one of Aunty Lee's recipes at the back.

The characters are interna
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If Miss Marple were a spicy, nosy Singaporean lady who lived and loved to feed people at her restaurant, that would be Aunty Lee! I loved reading this book and its delicious descriptions of the people and food that make up Singapore. Like any good dish, it is only the mixture of different ingredients that truly makes a dish a masterpiece, and Ovidia Yu has done a masterful job of creating characters that truly live. The plot was twisty in all the right ways. You MUST read this book. I, myself, c ...more
Shuhada Ramli
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rating : 2.5 stars

Review : The first 50 pages were intriguing, even though I have started to get bored with the same repetitive matters arisen about the mystery of the disappearance of Laura Kwee and Marianne Peter. Although that was the motive of the story, but I found it very boring to read the same thing for about half of the book and still couldn’t imagine what is next. I guess, Shadow Play (by Barbara Ismail) is better than this. There are parts that I enjoyed, but the interest in reading t
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Aunty Lee decided rather than swanning around being a rich widow she would prefer to DO something, with that in mind she set up her cafe/restaurant.  It normally only served food during the day but every so often she and her maid/assistant (Nina) would cook food for an evening event (normally for her stepson, Mark - who is trying to make a go of being a wine merchant, having failed at his previous attempts at starting companies!)

At this particular gathering it appears that various people are wan
Susan Lee
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall, it was an interesting read which reminded me a lot of Miss Marple. I wonder if Ovidia Yu had been inspired by Agatha Christie in this instance.

Here's my full review:
Amy Corwin
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, mystery
I've found a new favorite! It is such a joy to pick up a book that is fascinating, has interesting characters, and a good mystery. Aunty Lee was quirky, funny and interesting to be around, as are all the members of her family. Aunty Lee is running a diner in Singapore and she hosts wine tasting dinners with her son, the wine guy, for select groups of patrons. Mark, her son, is married to a rather unpleasant woman, Selena (better known as "Silly-Nah" by Aunty Lee), who isn't all that much behind ...more
Andrea Guy
If the cover of this wonderful cozy mystery doesn't draw you in, I don't know what will. There is just so much to love about this book.

In fact...

How do I love thee...let me count the ways.

1. Aunty Lee aka Rosie Lee is the most awesome older lady. She's smart and fun, and at times smarter than the police heading the investigation

2. The cast of characters. All of Rosie's family members, as well as all the suspects, gave new meaning to the word quirky.

3. This was a different kind of cozy. There is
Lynn Farris
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine if Agatha Christie’s sleuth was a feisty Singapore widow who owned a restaurant. That is Rosie Lee, the protagonist in ‘Aunty Lee’s Delights.’ This is Ovidia Yu’s first book published in the United States. However, Yu is well known in Singapore and India where she has published plays, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction. She dropped out of medical school to follow her dream of being a writer. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Iowa’s International Writers Program. ...more
2019 bk 118. The lovely and inquisitive Aunty Lee appearing in her first mystery. I just realized that this book was really reflected in my mind in the form of a stage play. The setting: modern day Singapore. I could see the scenes being set, the staging of actors in relationship to each other, the stage manager (Nina) calmly working to get all of the props in place, and the drama. Oh the drama. An unnamed corpse washed upon the shoreline. A daughter-in-law who is very jealous of her stepmother- ...more
I don't know quite how to feel about this one. I finished only because it was so short but it had some issues that had me fairly done with it by the half way mark. The story meandered to the point, told as if by an older woman. That in and of itself is not a problem but I think coupled with the many PoV's and the strange omniscient writing style made it feel clunky. Then because it meandered the political view it was trying to back up in the telling of the story felt flat (rather unfortun
Jan 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
I was so looking forward to discovering a new series -- the idea of a mystery set in Singapore was intriguing. But I hated most of the characters, the writing was formulaic, and the murders had no real or compelling motive. The solving of them felt like something tacked on just to end the book. Such a shame, because the concept was interesting, and the cover was beautifully designed.
Rhonda Lomazow
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunts Lee

A fun series based in Singapore Aunty Lee owns a restaurant her food sounds yummy she is also a very astute woman not much gets by her .Ewhen two women who had been at her restaurant are found murdered Aunty Lee is on the case.An intriguing mystery enhanced by the characters&food,
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Purchased at the airport in Singapore I thought it would be a fun read. Before I even finished the third chapter I raced back to the bookstore and purchased the next two in the series. Currently reading the third one and loving it. Hoping for number four for Christmas.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Few mystery novels are set in Singapore and this one is a delight to read. Some of the Singlish dialogue may seem strange but imagine it spoken by a middle-aged Peranakan 'aunty' and it starts to sound right. A good example of what our local literature can aim to be.
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Singaporean Mystery (4 books)
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“As Aunty Lee always said, you can’t cut out bad memories without removing part of your heart, but you can always create good memories to override them.” 4 likes
“As far as Aunty Lee was concerned, people ought to go through the ideas they carried around in their heads as regularly as they turned out their store cupboards. No matter how wisely you shopped, there would be things in the depths that were past their expiration dates or gone damp and moldy---or that has been picked up on impulse and were no longer relevant. Aunty Lee believed everything inside a head or cupboard could affect everything else in it by going bad or just taking up more space than it was worth.” 3 likes
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