Monday, December 9, 2013

Aunty Lee's Delights by Ovidia Yu

In Aunty Lee's Delights, Rosie Lee, whom everyone calls "Aunty Lee", has recently lost her husband. Instead of becoming another widow who plays mah-jongg and goes shopping, she decides to open a restaurant, Auntie Lee's Delights. When a body is found in a tourist area and one of her dinner guests fails to show up one night, Auntie Lee dons her amateur sleuth hat and springs into action to get to the bottom of things.

I really enjoyed this book. However, I didn't quite love Aunty Lee in the beginning. I couldn't get a handle on her or the other characters. However, about halfway through it all clicked for me. After that I couldn't get enough of them and the book ended too soon.

The mystery was set in Singapore, which was something new for me. It was what originally peaked my interesting in the book. The story really gave me a taste of what the country was like. It's especially wonderful that the author is from Singapore. That way I knew I'd likely be immersed in the real Singapore.

The book was billed as "witty", however, I didn't know if that was going to translate well across cultures. Humour is hard to pinpoint sometimes. What's funny to some people isn't funny to others. Add in different cultures and it could have come across as dull or anything but funny. Thankfully, this wasn't the case. It wasn't always laugh-out-loud funny, but it did have some rather amusing parts, mostly due to its wonderful cast of characters.

Speaking of characters, I especially loved this eclectic group. There was the odd pairing of Lee's stepson and his wife, a gay couple (their togetherness is still illegal in Singapore), and an older Australian couple, whose trip may not be as it seems. Then, of course, there's Aunty Lee herself, who has tons of smarts and more spunk than someone half her age.

I'm particularly fond of the following quote from the book:
...people ought to go through the ideas they carried around in their heads as regularly as they turned out their store cupboards. ... Aunty Lee believed everything inside a head or cupboard could affect everything else in it by going bad or just taking up more space than it was worth. (page 229)

Recommended. I'd definitely read another book by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the HarperCollins website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.

Aunty Lee's Delights, William Morrow (HarperCollins), ©2013. ISBN 9780062227157(Uncorrected Proof), 260p.

1 comment:

  1. Love the quote! Also the fact that the story is set in Singapore appeals to me. Thanks for the review, Marie!


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