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Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Jesse Q. Suntanto has an engaging writing style, and in my opinion, this is her best book yet!


I loved Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto! LOVED it!


Vera Wong is a lonely older woman who lives above her struggling teahouse in San Francisco's Chinatown. One morning, she finds a dead man clutching a flash drive in her teahouse. Vera takes the flash drive, thinking she can investigate better than the police " because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands." So when multiple suspects show up, Vera forms relationships with them while trying to figure out who the killer is.


This book surprised me in the best way! I had read Sutanto's Dial A for Aunties books and knew to expect a fun read with lots of humor, but this one also struck an emotional chord with me. Found family, emotional healing, loneliness, aging, and starting over are all touched on within the murder mystery.


The character development of this diverse group is excellent. I came to care about everyone, yes, even knowing they were all murder suspects. Vera, though, was a scene-stealing standout. Meddling, stubborn, wise, wonderful, maternal, and loving, Vera has a talent for reading people and knowing exactly what they need. Her sleuthing techniques involve tampering with the crime scene, withholding evidence, plying her suspects with tea and home-cooked feasts to pump them for information, then intervening to fix their lives. She was vividly written and completely endearing.

I highly recommend this, even if cozy mysteries aren't usually your jam. It is a charming, bingeable, feel-good book!


Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Books for the opportunity to review this ARC.


Choosing my steep was tough this time, as Vera is a tea doctor, and I am not. However, I went with Ancient Tree tea from The Cultured Cup, to pair with this book. Harvested in China from 100-year-old trees that are only picked once a year, it has a sweet dried plum note and is so delicious! You can find this tea at: www.theculturedcup.com


SYNOPSIS:


A lonely shopkeeper takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.


Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady--ah, lady of a certain age--who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.


Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing--a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn't know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of . . . swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.


What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?


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