When the news reports a dead body washed up on Sentosa, Rosie Lee, owner and chef at Rosie Lee's Delights, is instantly curious. Aunty Lee embodies what Singaporean's call kiasu or fear of losing out. To some, this simply means that she's a bit of a busybody. Naturally Aunty Lee begins to wonder who the dead woman might be and when two of the guests at her son's regular wine pairing are missing, Rosie is quick to begin drawing connections. Rosie soon injects herself into the investigation, using her observation and deduction to help the lead investigator on the case.
From the start of Aunty Lee's Delights Ovidia Yu draws vibrant pictures of her characters through her prose. Aunty Lee, her stepson Mark and his horrid wife Selina, Nina - Aunty Lee's assistant and sometimes focus of Selina's torments, the tasting guests and so many others all come to life through Yu's writing. That and the mouthwatering descriptions of Rosie's dishes are really quite enjoyable.
The downside is that the actual book doesn't read as smoothly as I'd prefer. There are some jumps in the story that come without much explanation, especially when it gets down to Aunty Lee solving the case. The plot itself is interesting and overall the book is a quick and entertaining read but the lack of fluidity did cause me to hang up in a few spots. Eventually I decided to just go with it and see what happened and honestly, for the most part it worked.
Aunty Lee's Delights is a bit cozier than I generally like but it brought to mind Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Schulz series, one I particularly enjoy. I've also learned throughout the years that mystery series sometimes need to get their feet under them - the first is almost never the best (it took until C for Sue Grafton to hook me). Ovidia Yu's characters are the kind I would enjoy following into a series. I'm not sure if that's to be the case but I definitely enjoyed Aunty Lee's Delights enough to read more from Yu in the future, even with the hiccups.
To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Ovidia Yu, you can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.