“Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers” by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Review by Yvonne Selander, collection development librarian
Vera Wong makes AMAZING tea but hardly anyone knows it. Vera Wang’s (yes, she is trying to attract business using a famous name) World Famous Teahouse is not thriving. She only has one consistent customer. Her days are long, lonely and boring. Until she discovers the dead man in her shop. She’s watched all the crime shows so she helps the police out by carefully tracing the body in Sharpie (she didn’t have tape) and takes the flash drive out of the dead man’s hand because, well, because she knows all about sleuthing and she’ll solve this murder. True the police say it’s an accident, but Vera knows better. She hasn’t had this much fun in years! And all these young people showing up at her shop after the murder – it can’t be coincidence. One of them must be the murderer. Which is a shame because she’s growing to love them all.
Vera is described as a little old Chinese lady but I can only think her lonely existence is what aged her in the eyes of the other characters, all in their 20s, because she’s only 60! Found family stories are always heartwarming and this murder mystery is no exception. The diverse and quirky cast of characters can’t stand up to the force of nature that is Vera who sets out to solve all their problems while working on solving the murder. Each has a connection to the dead man and Vera keeps hoping that none of them are the murderer – but is afraid that one of them must be. There are some good twists and turns and I highly recommend listening to this novel, the voice actor, Eunice Wong, is excellent.
Do NOT read this book if you are hungry. While the description of the teas are heavenly the dishes that Vera prepares sound out of this world.