Rosie “Aunty” Lee—feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant—is back in another delectable, witty mystery set in Singapore.
Slightly hobbled by a twisted ankle, crime-solving restaurateur Aunty Lee begrudgingly agrees to take a rest from running her famous café, Aunty Lee’s Delights, and turns over operations to her friend and new business partner Cherril.
The café serves as a meeting place for an animal rescue society that Cherril once supported. They were forced to dissolve three years earlier after a British expat killed the puppy she’d adopted, sparking a firestorm of scandal. The expat, Allison Fitzgerald, left Singapore in disgrace, but has returned with an ax to grind (and a lawsuit). At the café one afternoon, Cherril receives word that Allison has been found dead in her hotel—and foul play is suspected. When a veterinarian, who was also involved in the scandal, is found dead, suspicion soon falls on the animal activists. What started with an internet witch hunt has ended in murder—and in a tightly knit, law-and-order society like Singapore, everyone is on edge.
Before anyone else gets hurt—and to save her business—Aunty Lee must get to the bottom of what really happened three years earlier, and figure out who is to be trusted in this tangled web of scandal and lies.
Yu's savory third Singaporean mystery (after 2014's Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials) finds Rosie "Aunty" Lee in a grumpy mood since she twisted an ankle and can't actively run her cafe, Aunty Lee's Delights, which is now being supervised by Cherril, Aunty's new business partner. Meanwhile, Allison Fitzgerald, an expat English woman who left Singapore years before after a dispute over a dog she and her then-husband adopted, has returned to the island nation intending to sue Aunty, Cherril, and a friend of Cherril's for breaking up her marriage. When Allison turns up dead in her hotel room, Aunty once again shifts into sleuthing mode. Yu feeds her elaborate plot with abundant red herrings, but fans of culinary mysteries may wish she had made more of the restaurant setting and provided recipes for the lovingly described cuisine. Similarly, the paucity of local color may disappoint armchair travelers. Still, fans of Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher will find much to enjoy.