Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 Prompt #12

This was a tough choice! So many books – but most if the books I have bought this spring have been for specific prompts. I was super excited to receive a copy of Jesse Sutanto’s spring release, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers via Netgalley and it has been the perfect Easter holiday read.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads:

Put the kettle on, there’s a mystery brewing…
Tea-shop owner. Matchmaker. Detective?

Sixty-year-old self-proclaimed tea expert Vera Wong enjoys nothing more than sipping a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy ‘detective’ work on the internet (AKA checking up on her son to see if he’s dating anybody yet).

But when Vera wakes up one morning to find a dead man in the middle of her tea shop, it’s going to take more than a strong Longjing to fix things. Knowing she’ll do a better job than the police possibly could – because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands – Vera decides it’s down to her to catch the killer.

Nobody spills the tea like this amateur sleuth.

What I think:

I have flown through this book – it’s so darn good!

I loved it from start to finish.

All of the characters are interesting and complex and you find yourself rooting for all of them.

Vera herself is particularly wonderful. She is nosey and bossy but so thoughtful and kind-hearted. She can sense how people are feeling and what they need before they themselves know. She is too easily dismissed by people who think they know better and see her just as an old lady. But she is intelligent and resilient and determined.

Vera’s life is one of strict routines. She is an early riser, she keeps herself fit and she works in her teashop. But she has very few customers and a son she rarely sees and is lonely. When she wakes up one morning to find a dead body in her shop, instead of shock, she feels excitement. Convinced its a murder she begins investigating.

Vera’s investigations lead her to meet a group of people who were all somehow connected to the victim. They could all be suspects, but as she gets to know her new friends, she really doesn’t want any of them to be revealed as this killer.

This is such a wonderful book filled with good humour, friendship, and love. Vera brings people together and allows them to heal and love. Her found family gives her a renewed sense of purpose and energy. She is an absolutely wonderful character!

I don’t want to say too much more as it was such a joy, I don’t want to spoil it!

Thank you, Netgalley, for my gifted copy! This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

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