Five years have passed since the puppy killer scandal: an animal activist group adopted a puppy out to an American expat who, rather than return the dog when it became problematic, had it put down. The outrage over the incident spread well beyond the Animal ReHomers volunteers, leaving the American, Allison Fitzgerald, all but run out of the country. But now Allison has returned, determined to have her revenge on the people she believes were responsible not only for dragging her name through the mud but for costing her her marriage and family.
Unfortunately, Aunty Lee's new business partner is one of those former volunteers. To make things easier, they set their meeting with Allison at Aunty Lee's cafe. But when Allison is a no show, her sister arriving in her stead, they find out the former puppy killer has herself been murdered. And the ReHomers are the prime suspects! What better way, then, for Aunty Lee to help than to offer her home as a place for the dead woman's sister to convalesce while the investigation proceeds?
Aunty Lee is at it again! The kaypoh (nosy) cook can't help herself, especially this time around. Aunty Lee has been told to take it easy considering her recently sprained ankle, which means taking a step back and allowing Cherril, Nina, and even her daughter-in-law, Selina, to take charge of the cafe. So of course she's going to thrill at the opportunity to dig her teeth into yet another mystery. That this one involves her friend and business partner makes it even more inevitable.
This series as a whole is quite delectable. Singaporean culture and food take center stage right alongside our amateur sleuth. The pacing is always steady and the characters are pretty fantastic. As a cozy series, however, the overall mystery in each installment is always fairly well plotted but there are little inconsistencies in each of the tales that kind of rub me the wrong way as a frequent mystery reader. For example, after the death of Allison Love is announced in the morning papers Selina and Mark come running to the cafe so that "Silly-Nah" can express her concerns over how this will impact the restaurant. But Selina was present when the police arrived the previous day. She wouldn't need the paper or her friends to announce the cafe's involvement (or lack there of).
All in all, these inconsistencies are small but they keep me from truly falling in love with a series I would otherwise highly recommend. To that end, readers in the mood for a cozy culinary mystery will certainly enjoy Yu's Aunty Lee but I fear more voracious mystery fans may have the same issue I do.
I like these, and Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge is no exception. They're great for light reading evenings, but three books in I'd really hoped some of the kinks would be worked out by now.
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Ovidia Yu and her work you can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
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