Last week I went on my first family vacation since my little kids were born four and six years ago. I still brought a slew of books and managed to read three in six days (the kids go to bed early, even though they didn’t fall asleep at their usual time that whole week we were away).
The first book I poured through was Aunty Lee’s Delights (William Morrow, 2013), a fun mystery by Singaporean author, Ovidia Yu. It was a quick paced story that kept my interest until the very end.
Aunty Lee is a widow who could be a tai-tai–the Chinese term for ladies who lunch–but instead runs a Peranakan cafe that attracts foodies from all over the world. She’s got a mind as sharp as a sleuth’s.
Shortly after Aunty Lee and her stepson begin a wine tasting dinner at her cafe, called Aunty Lee’s Delights, two women invited to the dinner fail to show up. A couple of bodies are washed up on Sentosa Island, a resort area in Singapore. They happen to be the bodies of the two missing women from Aunty Lee’s dinner.
Consulting with the police assigned to the case, Aunty Lee and her Filipina domestic worker and right-hand woman, Nina, go to work to solve the crime.
The cast of characters is a diverse one in cultures, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I’ve been to Singapore, including Sentosa Island, but Ovidia Yu does such a great job of describing her beloved country that readers will feel transported to the city-state whether or not they’ve visited it before.
I also enjoyed this book because it has strong female characters and a positive, pro-woman message. This book won’t be released until September this year, but if you’re looking for an entertaining story in the months to come, be sure to check out Aunty Lee’s Delights. Just don’t read it on an empty stomach.