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Berkley Books

Arsenic and Adobo

Arsenic and Adobo

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Author: Mia P. Manansala


Page Count: 336


Published: May 4, 2021


ISBN: 9780593201671


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…


  • One of Crime Reads' "Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2021"!
  • One of BookRiot's "Most Anticipated Books of 2021"!
  • One of Bustle's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2021"!

"Even though I tend to write dark, hardboiled stories in which people get hit in the face with tools, I love to read a well-written and quirky cozy mystery. Manansala has created just that with her debut novel, a tale full of eccentric characters, humorous situations and an oh-so-tricky mystery. Check this one out for the poetic prose and the mouth-watering recipes that are integral to the plot."—The Washington Post

“This book hits the exact right spot...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 Macapagal’s ex-boyfriend Derek drops dead in front of her at her family’s restaurant. I’ve heard it described as a 'cozy mystery' and that’s exactly what it is, a perfectly cozy puzzle to solve. Also, it will make you very hungry for Filipino food—and then it delivers with recipes in the back!”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising

"This breeze-right-through-it mystery mystery follows baker Lila Macapagal as she investigates the murder of her ex-boyfriend, the town's too-mean food critic, after he dies over a meal in her aunt's flailing Filipino restaurant. Finding out whether or not Lila can solve the crime and save the restaurant is as satisfying as it is climactic with just the right amount of drama."—Bon Appetit

“The characters are genuine... The descriptions of food are amazing and read as good-enough-to-eat..."—Midwest Book Review

"[An] enjoyable and endearing debut cozy...Manansala peppers the narrative with enough red herrings to keep readers from guessing the killer, but the strength of the novel is how family, food and love intertwine in meaningful and complex ways. When Lila bakes her signature ube crinkle cookies, made with purple yams, we are in for a delectable treat."—New York Times Book Review

"This debut introduces readers to Filipino American food and culture, with its emphasis on family. There are cozy tropes (the close-knit community, the food business), but the emphasis on the Tagalog language, the culture, and drug dealing in a small town add gravity and individuality to this outstanding series kick-off."—Library Journal, starred review

"A super-fun read that’s perfect for the beach, your couch, or any Sunday afternoon."—The Skimm

"This debut mystery has a snap and sparkle that breathes a bit of new life into the cozy genre… I wholeheartedly hope this is a kickoff to a long-lived series.”—Mystery Scene Magazine

"Manansala, a Chicago Filipina, has reinvigorated tired tropes to create a multicultural, queer-friendly culinary mystery, making Arsenic and Adobo an envelope-pushing, world-expanding debut that goes down easy.”—LA Times

"A delightfully decadent whodunit."—Woman's World

"Arsenic and Adobo is a fast and fun read, with a mystery that plays fair without being too obvious and just enough romantic tension to off set the murder. Readers will be clamoring for their next meal at Tita Rosie’s Kitchen, so anticipation for the next in this series will be high.”—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“Full of heart, delectable dishes and just enough danger to keep you guessing, this Fil-Am cozy is a hit, and I’m so looking forward to returning to Shady Palms.”—BookReporter

"What an absolute treat! Mia P. Manansala has crafted a delicious mystery full of wit and wile that kept me laughing and guessing as I devoured every page. Fresh, fun, and feisty, amateur sleuth Lila Macapagal takes readers on a wild and savory ride as she sets out to catch a killer. I can’t wait to read more in this fabulous new series!”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of One for the Books

“Mia P. Manansala stirs up a lively mixture of Filipino culture, food and family bonds with an appealing heroine in her well-plotted, poignant and often sweet debut ‘Arsenic and Adobo.’”—The Sun Sentinel

“Chock-full of food lore, this delicious mystery will leave readers hungry for more of the adventures of Lila, her friends and relatives, and her chunky dachshund (who is named after a kind of short, fat sausage). Cozy fans are in for a treat.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Arsenic and Adobo caught me from the first line, and it only got better from there. Manansala's fun, fresh voice spins an enchanting fusion of Filipino-American food and culture, artfully and seamlessly woven into a smart, satisfying mystery that made me laugh out loud.”—Olivia Blacke, author of Killer Content

“Mia Manansala's debut, Arsenic and Adobo, serves up a cozy plate of ube crinkles with a side of murder. Readers are sure to salivate over this Filipino-American mystery as Lila smokes out the food critic's killer.”—One of Crime Reads' "Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2021"!

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