Kerry Hammond is here to tell us about the latest book in the Aunty Lee Mystery Series by Ovidia Yu.
Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge was published on April 5, 2016, by William Morrow in Trade Paperback. It is the 3rd book in the Singaporean mystery series by author Ovidia Yu. I love to read to escape to foreign locales, the more exotic the better. I chose to read this book because I wanted to be transported to Singapore, and the author did just that. She also threw in a murder, just to entertain me.
Aunty Lee is a widowed Singaporean lady with a successful restaurant and a curious mind. She is close friends with the local police Commissioner Raja (he is also widowed and you can insert raised eyebrows here, because they might end up more than friends as the series progresses). She is surrounded by friends and family, including her step-son Mark and his semi-irritating wife Selena, whom Aunty Lee refers to as Silly-Nah.
In Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge, Aunty Lee is recovering from a fall that twisted her ankle. She has to rely on others to help her run her business, but her mind is still as sharp as a tack. Unable to help her business partner Cherril much with the day to day running of the restaurant, she is, even more, looking for a distraction. A group of local young people are in the café to meet a woman named Allison, a British expat who wishes to confront them, and sue them, for ruining her life and her marriage. It all stemmed from an incident where Allison adopted a dog from the shelter and then, when there were issues with her keeping it, chose to euthanize the puppy rather than return it to the shelter. The shelter workers and all of Singapore attacked her online and she feels that it is their fault that her marriage broke up and wants them to pay.
Allison doesn’t show for the meeting, and her sister Vallerie, who is visiting with her for moral support, finds her dead body in the hotel room. Aunty Lee offers Valerie a place to stay as the police investigate, and starts her own version of an investigation as the case progresses. The police realize that Aunty Lee has access to information that would be extremely hard for them to get, and therefore put up with her involvement in the case. Her help proves to be invaluable as the culprit is brought to justice.
Yu has created a genuine and adorable character in Aunty Lee. She’s just the right amount of nosy, bossy, caring, and generous. I enjoyed watching Aunty Lee solve her problems over food, always making sure everyone is well fed before they tackle anything that might upset them. The characters really stand out, and Yu inserts just enough of the local dialect to make it interesting and authentic. There are several twists to the plot that lead the reader to the satisfying conclusion.
The book is complete with recipes in the back, and a list of local spots in Singapore that Aunty Lee recommends. It is part mystery and part travel guidebook. What a great combination.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.
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