cover image Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Jesse Q. Sutanto. Berkley, $17 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-54922-3

At the start of this stellar mystery from Sutanto (Dial A for Aunties), 60-year-old, strong-willed widow Vera Wong discovers a body with a flash drive in its hand in her tea shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Vera contacts the police, but confident she can do a better job at pinpointing the murderer, she snatches the flash drive before their arrival. The authorities identify the victim as 29-year-old Marshall Chen and determine he died from an allergy attack. Convinced the death was no accident, Vera is thrilled to delve into detective work when a handful of people who knew Marshall come into her shop looking for information. The eclectic group includes Marshall’s widow, his twin brother, a reporter for Buzzfeed, and the host of a true crime podcast. Seeing them as potential suspects, Vera lures them with her distinctive teas and cooking, developing genuine friendships with each one, but also easily able to sniff out their lies. The engrossing plot, which is full of laugh out loud humor and heartfelt moments, builds to a satisfying conclusion that will leave readers eager for more Vera. Sutanto has outdone herself with this cozy with substance. Agent: Katelyn Detweiler, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Mar.)