Thursday, October 6, 2022

Blackmail and Bibingka: A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery by Mia P. Manansala

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

When her long lost cousin comes back to town just in time for the holidays, Lila Macapagal knows that big trouble can't be far behind in this new mystery by Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo.

It's Christmastime in Shady Palms, but things are far from jolly for Lila Macapagal. Sure, her new business, The Brew-ha Cafe, is looking to turn a profit in its first year. And yes, she's taken the first step in a new romance with her good friend, Jae Park. But her cousin Ronnie is back in town after ghosting the family fifteen years ago, claiming that his recent purchase of a local winery shows that he's back on his feet and ready to give back to the Shady Palms community. Tita Rosie is thrilled with the return of her prodigal son, but Lila knows that wherever Ronnie goes, trouble follows.

She's soon proven right when Ronnie is accused of murder, and secrets and rumors surrounding her shady cousin and those involved with the winery start piling up. Now Lila has to put away years of resentment and distrust to prove her cousin's innocence. He may be a jerk, but he's still family. And there's no way her flesh and blood could actually be a murderer...right?

my thoughts:

Cozy mysteries are where it's at! Packed full of suspense, mystery, thrills, Christmas, family, and yummy food - Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala is the perfect holiday cozy mystery! The third book in Manansala's popular Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery series, this story takes place during Christmas time and it makes for the perfect setting. Not only does the holiday season provide the perfect atmosphere to get lost in, but it also highlights all of the delectable Filipino treats Lila and her family enjoy baking and cooking at Christmas time. Plus, I just love Christmas, so any book set during my favorite holiday is usually a win for me. Luckily, Blackmail and Bibingka also has a gripping story that will hook you right from the start. And the characters are the kind you want to root for and befriend. All in all, this is one book you do not want to miss out on. In fact, it will make you want to reach for the first two books in the series - after all, how can you not want to read more about Lila and her unforgettable family. Plus, I love the name of the town the book is set in - Shady Palms. How non-cozy does that sound? It makes me think that mysteries will be need to be solved all the time, which I just love. 

Okay, so what is this book about? Well, it's about Lila's cousin Ronnie coming back home just in time for Christmas. He's bought a winery and is ready to give back to his hometown. Except, Lila is not buying it and worries that his return will ruin the holiday season. And she may just be right when Ronnie is accused of murder. Say what? Yep, someone is killed and Ronnie is the prime suspect. Plus, rumor after rumor is spreading around town about him, along with some killer secrets. Yikes! Will Lila be able to prove her cousin's innocence, or will she find out that her cousin is capable of murder? Yowza! Talk about a dysfunctional family! And, that is all I will write about this fun and entertaining story - you need to check it out for yourself! 

I would definitely recommend you check out Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala - it's a great read you will fall in love with. 

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

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