Murder and Mamon

Books on Tape. (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery, Bk. 4). Sept. 2023. 7:47 hrs. ISBN 9780593739204. $66.50. M
Manansala’s fourth installment in the “Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery” series (following Blackmail and Bibingka) shifts the focus from Lila to her godmothers April, Mae, and June, also known as the Calendar Crew. Lila’s aunties are opinionated, gossipy, and loving; more than anything, they just want to open their new laundromat. However, before the grand opening, they discover the corpse of Ninang, April’s visiting niece, next to a threatening message. This time, instead of defending her family from false accusations, Lila needs to find the killer before they harm the people she loves. Her new perspective is the essence of the novel, where all of Lila’s relationships and goals are maturing. She’s mended old grudges, has healthy communication with her partner, runs a successful business, and learns from ex-detective Park. Filipino American actor and narrator Danice Cabanela skillfully crafts distinctive Filipino accents for characters and creates character portraits that convey a wealth of information; age, upbringing, education, and personality are all instantly recognizable when characters speak. As Lila’s community continues to grow, Cabanela ensures that everyone in Shady Palms has a voice.
VERDICT Manansala and Cabanela excel at creating a welcoming community that mystery lovers will want to visit again and again.
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