Review: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Description (from cover): “Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady–ah, lady of a certain age–who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing–a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn’t know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of…swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would 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 knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.

What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?”

My Thoughts:

Vera Wong is an older Chinese lady who lives above her not-so-successful tea shop. She spends her time making special tea blends for her one customer and harassing her son about what he should be doing with his life. She is startled one morning to wake up and find a dead man in the middle of her empty tea shop. Before contacting the police, she discovers a flash drive in the hand of the dead man. Knowing she can do a better job of solving the murder, she takes the flash drive and keeps it a secret from the police.

When the friends and family members of the dead man start showing up a her shop looking for answers, she befriends them in order to conduct her own murder investigation. It seems that they all have a motive for the man’s murder, but she starts to let these people into her life and she begins to care deeply for them and her investigation becomes a muddled mess. She cannot let the police solve the murder investigation as it seems they are at their wits’ end. Will one of the close friends she has now let into her life turn out to be the murderer?

This was a cute little cozy mystery debut from Jessie Sutanto who is well known for her other books featuring Asian American characters. I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the Chinese culture and how others see them in an American society. At times, the story dragged a little slowly, but other than that this was a great quick read that should be enjoyable to mystery lovers everywhere.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto

Series: N/A

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Pages: 348

Genre: Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.