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Arsenic and Adobo

(Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1)

by
3.62  ·  Rating details ·  13,900 ratings  ·  2,600 reviews
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
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Hardcover, Book of the Month, 307 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Berkley
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Mia Manansala Hi! I can assure you that the dog does not (and will NEVER) die in my books. Longganisa is an important and beloved character <3
Tracy Yes! Mia includes a few recipes featured in the book (my copy has 4). I've already started googling where I can find some of the ingredients. Yum-my!…moreYes! Mia includes a few recipes featured in the book (my copy has 4). I've already started googling where I can find some of the ingredients. Yum-my!(less)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,900 ratings  ·  2,600 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally my favorite cozy mystery book of the year is out! 🥳🎈🍹

Oh no! I’m literally craving for more this fantastic Filipino family adventures! Why good things end so fast!!!

Let me introduce you the stars of this journey briefly:
The threatening, tough grandma Lola Flor, sweetest Tita Rosie, entertaining and smart Calendar Trio(sharp tongued April, negotiator May, smart June) our witty, brave, kind hearted, stubborn, tough heroine Lila who has impressive investigation and culinary skills and let’s
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Taylor Reid
This book hits the exact right spot, in my opinion. I love mysteries and whodunits but in the past few years, I’ve grown weary of all the violence and anxiety that accompany a lot of true crime or murder mysteries. Somehow—I still don’t quite know how??—Mia P. Manansala manages to create a murder mystery where nothing is too horrifying and you know everything will be okay in the end. And because of that, you just get to go along for the ride of trying to figure out what really happened when Lila ...more
Gabby
This was really cute, and I loved the family in this book and learning more about the Filipino culture and the food, but I don’t know if cozy mysteries are my thing. I loved everything about this book, except for the mystery aspect of it, I just couldn’t get invested.

Here’s the reading vlog where I read it: https://youtu.be/ByZvXPeSUB4
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Ashley Lauren
Well. This was disappointing.

The best part of this book is the cover. That is an amazing cover.

Well - and maybe the opening page. That was pretty engaging. After that, expect it to go downhill.

I know - I know, that's mean and as an aspiring author myself it's a bit rude but I can't help myself, this just didn't shake out. Let me point out a few key things that really grated for me:

- The concept of grief in this book is really, really appalling. None of the characters have feeling. None. They som
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myo (myonna reads)
this was such a fun small town cozy mystery!! can’t wait for the rest of the series
Chelsea Humphrey
A light, fun, humorous cozy mystery featuring descriptions of yummy Filipino dishes and warm family moments. I did feel like I had a few unanswered questions regarding side plots and characters, but I'm hoping those are addressed in future installments. I appreciated the dash of romance and the delightful banter involving the aunties, and look forward to the next book in the series! ...more
Addie Motta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shealea
Jul 01, 2020 marked it as might-read  ·  review of another edition
Listen. Even though I’m a sinigang girl through and through, my Filipino heart is crying happy Filipino tears. 😭🇵🇭

ARC gods, hear my plea. 🥺
Rae
Imagine a train with three cargoes. The first cargo consists of those gothic artifacts that'll really make you think, the creepy cool black stuff like spikes, guns, and you get the gist. The third cargo consists of all things pink and pretty- stuffed toys with sparkly eyes, pastel paper dolls, shiny things, soft pink pillows, and the likes. In the middle cargo there's a bunch of bombs and dynamites and one of them is ticked off. Now, the conductor is struggling to keep up with the weight and the ...more
Melanie
berkley, hear my filipino american prayers. also this is 100% without question going to be my lola's fave read of 2021. blessings all around and my heart is so very full! <3

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch
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Kendall
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading a cozy mystery!!

For one... I am obsessed with the cover. I absolutely loved the town of Shady Palms and Miss Lila Macapagal. This was quite the cozy mystery that stands out for the importance of family, full of heart, and tons of delicious food that I wanted to eat right out of the book.

What I absolutely loved? The Filipino culture!! And the cast of characters just absolutely loved. But, I have to say my most favorite is the dachschund Longganisa. Gahhh soooo cute!
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Rachel
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute, cozy mystery with lots of food descriptions. The perfect rainy day read 👌🏻
Gigi
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I was lucky to get a sneak peek at this terrific debut cozy mystery. What a terrific new series! A full review to follow shortly.
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
If there's one thing Filipino people are good at, it's showing up for other Filipinos' achievements. That's essentially why I jumped to get a review copy of Arsenic & Adobo, Mia P. Manansala's debut installment to a cozy mystery series featuring Filipino protagonists and food. Cozy mysteries have long been a genre I wanted to get into, but all of these factors and more were what really made me stay for the rest of the book. The things I liked:

So much diversity; our main character, Lila, is
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Lila is helping out in the family restaurant when her ex-boyfriend dies of what looks like poisoning. Lots of Filipino food and family, and some secrets only known to the people who have stayed in the small community. I hope we see more in this series because there are some unresolved relationships at the end of this! A few recipes in the back, which will send me on another hunt for pandan leaves.

I had a copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley.
Norma
Delightful, fun, and humorous!

This was an enjoyable cozy murder mystery that was a fast read and held my interest right from the very start. I absolutely love a good culinary cozy that is set in a small town, and what is even better is the included recipes of all the mouthwatering dishes mentioned in the book.

The glossary in the beginning of the book was greatly appreciated by this reader. I was thoroughly entertained and loved the cultural aspect of this novel, and learning more about the Filip
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Brittany Viklund
That was DELISH!!! This was my first cozy mystery & I devoured it, not just because of all the yummy food but also the Filipino family dynamics & culture along with the compulsive need I had to figure out who was behind the madness. I am so happy this is a series, I want MORE!
Jen
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Warning: Do not attempt to pick up this book and read it if you're hungry, or even if you simply haven't eaten in the last few hours. I had to set it down to google if I had any Filipino restaurants near me that would deliver because this book made me so damn hungry and in the mood for some lumpia...

That said, the food descriptions were unfortunately the best part. I would absolutely follow a food blog if this author were to create one. And I plan to make the ube crinkle cookie recipe that is p
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Mark Baker
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2021
After a disastrous breakup with her fiancé, Lila Macapagal has moved back to Shady Palms, Illinois, and is trying to help her aunt save her Filipino restaurant. One issue the restaurant is having is Derek Winter, Lila’s high school sweetheart who has becoming the local food critic and has written several nasty reviews of Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. When he comes back for yet another meal, he winds up dropping dead in his meal. Now the police are looking at Lila as a murderer, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen is c ...more
Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe
Arsenic and Adobo was a cute and cozy mystery, full of delicious food! I am so happy my book club chose this book and for the free copy Berkley Publishing sent me. I never read cozy mysteries, and having a food themed one made it even better.

This book was about Lila, a girl who has moved home to help her family run their restaurant. She always puts family first, and after a bad breakup in Chicago, she’s ready to come home. Of course she runs into her ex boyfriend right away, who also happens to
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Cassie
Eeek, I knooooooow. I really tried! Cozy mysteries might not be my thing. {Thanks to Berkley for an advanced copy of this book.}

I really wanted to like Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala, and did enjoy the food descriptions, diversity, and family banter. I love learning about other cultures, and enjoy stories wrapped up in yummy food. Those aspects of the story were great!

There seemed to be a lack of engagement in relationships, and many things were left unexplained. It felt a bit murky and u
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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
omg this sounds so fun. I love books about food.
Miranda
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it
I do not have much experience with reading cozy mysteries like this book, but I do tend to enjoy murder mysteries. When I saw this offered as a pick for Book of the Month, I just had to pick up a copy.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala is the first book in a new series called Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery. The story centers around Lila Macapagal as she moves back home after a bad breakup to help with her family’s restaurant. Things are not going well for her, but they get even worse when her
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Brittany Mayes
This was a pretty quick read but I hated the writing style and I thought it felt like both everything and nothing was happening at once. The food descriptions were the only substantial thing in the book and now I know I don't care about food descriptions. ...more
Dawn
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-reads
Nice, cozy mystery. I loved all of the amazing food references and ambiance building. The story fell flat at the end for me, but it was still very cute and interesting - 4 stars.
Tina
This is a cozy mystery, and this is the first book in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series. I have to say I felt the mystery could have been better, but it was a good start of a new series. In this book we got to really get to know all the characters, so I am hoping the second book in this book series is better. I did really enjoy the characters in this book. This was my April Book of the Month book pick. (*)

https://www.mybotm.com/zr12wnytgc8?sh...
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Mira
I know this is ridiculously petty of me, but I just couldn't take the book seriously after reading this paragraph:

I sighed and nibbled on an ube crinkle, so lost in thought I couldn't even enjoy how the light coating of powdered sugar gave just enough sweetness to the subtle, almost vanilla-like flavor of the purple yam. It all turned to sand in my mouth.

Like...please don't tell me a character can't concentrate on something and then proceed to describe it in detail, especially in a first-person
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Kathleen
This is Manansala’s first offering in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Lila Macapagal has returned to Shady Palms after a nasty break-up with her fiance in Chicago to help her aunt with her struggling restaurant. So, it doesn’t help when her high school ex-boyfriend drops dead while eating there. The police jump to the conclusion that Lila had something to do with his demise. That leaves Lila and her barista best friend Adeena Awan to seek out answers on their own among the restaurant co ...more
Anshu Sharma
May 22, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE. STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK!
The saying "do not judge a book by its cover" must have been tailor-made for this book, well the cover and the synopsis. I was basically lured by those two things to start this book and oh boy what a mistake it was.

This book, to put it simply, sucks. It reads as some 14-year old wrote it. I would say it reads like a fan-fiction, but that would be an insult to all the well-written fan-fictions out there. This is nothing but the writer's self-insert fantasy with ham-fisted food reference thrown in
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julia ☆ [owls reads]
Arsenic and Adobo made me really hungry? That was all I felt while reading it. The writing was pretty easy to read and I did enjoy the dynamics between Lila and her family, but there was a lot of cheesy dialogue and the mystery plot was paper thin.

Lila was... not a character I connected with. I had a bit of trouble with her attitude towards everything that happened and the way she addressed and dealt with the murder investigation. She was pretty blasé about the murders and sort of just went on
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Mia P. Manansala is a book coach and the author of ARSENIC AND ADOBO (Berkley 2021), the first in the Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series.

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.
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Other books in the series

Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery (2 books)
  • Homicide and Halo-Halo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #2)

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
66 likes · 17 comments
“In typical Filipino fashion, my aunt expressed her love not through words of encouragement or affectionate embraces, but through food. Food was how she communicated. Food was how she found her place in the world.” 4 likes
“To my family, who’ve always encouraged me to go after my not-Asian-approved career choice of writing. Especially you, Mommy—you introduced me to the world of mysteries and shared your love of culinary cozies with me. This whole series is for you. Daddy, I will never bring the care and attention to cooking that you always did, but I hope you tasted the love all the same. I miss you so much, but I hope I did you proud.” 2 likes
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