Aunty Lee’s Delights: A Singaporean Mystery

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Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu is the first book published in America by a well-established author and playwright based in Singapore. This is what we may comfortably describe as a cozy mystery set in the somewhat exotic surroundings of the Garden City. Our amateur sleuth, Aunty Lee, runs a restaurant specializing in Peranakan food. Indeed, to add interest, there are insights into how to cook some of the dishes with a recipe at the end.

The book follows in the Golden Age tradition of an older woman who’s tuned into the local gossip and can ease her way into the different social situations, often turning up armed with food. This access to all the witnesses and suspects gives her an unparalleled opportunity to unravel the puzzle. Obviously, the primary concern is who killed the two women and why. But there’s also a chance to explore something of the Singaporean culture, and to understand the motives of many of the people our “detective” meets. It’s all neatly tied up at the end with a traditional exchange of view between Aunty Lee and the killer. The police are naturally allowed to claim all the credit and justice is done. It’s great fun!

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Ovidia Yu
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher William Morrow
Publish Date 2013-Sep-17
ISBN 9780062227157
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2014
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller
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