Homicide and Halo Halo – Book Review

Title:- Homicide and Halo-Halo

Author:- Mia P. Manansala

Date published:- February 8th 2022

Publisher:- Berkley

No. of pages:- 299 pages

Genre:- Asian American Fiction


Plot:- 4/5 stars

Writing:- 4/5 stars

Overall rating:- 4 / 5 stars

Death at a beauty pageant turns Tita Rosie’s Kitchen upside down in the latest entry of this witty and humorous cozy mystery series by Mia P. Manansala.

Things are heating up for Lila Macapagal. Not in her love life, which she insists on keeping nonexistent despite the attention of two very eligible bachelors. Or her professional life, since she can’t bring herself to open her new café after the unpleasantness that occurred a few months ago at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. No, things are heating up quite literally, since summer, her least favorite season, has just started.

To add to her feelings of sticky unease, Lila’s little town of Shady Palms has resurrected the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant, which she won many years ago—a fact that serves as a wedge between Lila and her cousin slash rival, Bernadette. But when the head judge of the pageant is murdered and Bernadette becomes the main suspect, the two must put aside their differences and solve the case—because it looks like one of them might be next.

This is the second book of the Tita Rosie series. I think you would have to read the first book, Arsenic and Adobo before reading the second book.

Now in this book, Lila, the main protagonist is opening up a cafe with her best friend Adeena and Adeena’s girlfriend Elena. Detective Parks visits Lila and tells her about a letter that they received regarding the beauty pageant that is held in Shady Palms every year–in which Lila was also a part of the contest many years ago. Lila joins in the pagent as a judge. Then one of the judges, Rob Thompson was murdered and Lila is set to find out who is responsible for the murder.

This was not as good as the first book, though the descriptions of Filipino cuisne made my mouth water. There were some funny parts in the book which will make you laugh out loud and I do really like the plot and the setting of the story. The story is mainly told from Lila’s perspective. I do like how Lila works out to find out who the killer is and this time she was sort of helping Detective Park especially when her cousin, Bernadette was questioned about Rob Thompson. Overall, I actually enjoyed reading the book, though the mention of the food and the recipes at the back of the book made my mouth water.

With that said, I cannot wait to read the third book and couldn’t see what Lila’s next adventure will be.

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