Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials by Ovidia Yu

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Author Yu’s second installment of her mystery series set in Singapore featuring protagonist Rosie “Aunty” Lee, Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials finds Aunty in a bit of trouble. While catering a brunch at a well known attorney’s home, both the hostess and her son are found dead from cyanide poisoning presumably from one of Aunty’s signature dishes. The fact that no one else at the party became ill, or that up until this point Aunty Lee’s Café had a pristine reputation does not keep the police from shutting the café down. So what does our energetic protagonist do while her restaurant is closed? She starts investigating the family of the deceased-from their family relationships to their businesses.

While this is the second book in the series, readers could pick this book up and read it without feeling like they were missing anything. Enough of the basic back story is repeated so that readers get a feel for who the major players are and what their relationship to Aunty Lee is. I mean that literally, as whole passages seem to have been lifted from the first book, Aunty Lee’s Delights and inserted into Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials. Characters are what drive this drive this series.

While the book is set in Singapore, the overall feel of the book seems to be more ‘Asian Culture” than place specific. For the most part, these books could be set in Hong Kong or even in many Chinatowns in the United States. There are some specifics to Singapore, but not enough to really take the reader there.

As for the plot, the mystery was interesting and fairly plotted giving the reader a chance to solve the crime. The plot takes a dark turn into the world of illegal human organ trade and “medical tourism.” Even with that dark turn, these books fall on the softer side of the genre.

But for me, and I suspect many readers, it’s all about Aunty Lee and her antics that make these books winners. I am eager for the next book to come out.

Click Here to Purchase Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials: A Singaporean Mystery

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