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

Sixty-year-old self-proclaimed tea expert Vera Wong enjoys nothing more than sipping a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy ‘detective’ work on the internet (AKA checking up on her son to see if he’s dating anybody yet).

But when Vera wakes up one morning to find a dead man in the middle of her tea shop, it’s going to take more than a strong Longjing to fix things. Knowing she’ll 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 decides it’s down to her to catch the killer.

I really loved Dial A for Aunties and its sequel Four Aunties and a Wedding so when I spotted that Jesse Sutanto had a new book coming out I didn’t hesitate to click the request button on Netgalley.

This book had everything I have come to expect from Sutanto’s writing – it was funny, warm, sad, and all round a little bit bonkers.

Vera was brilliant, I adored her and to wanted to scoop her up and tell her everything would be ok when her sadness shone through, visit her shop for tea and hide when she overstepped the mark. She would be huge fun to spend time with but also exhausting! Her heart though – that was always in the right place.

The rest of our assorted cast were also very well crafted, this was a book that definitely gave off strong ‘found family’ vibes and did it so well. Nothing felt forced about the growing friendships between everyone – they just happened to be what each other needed.

The link bring all our characters together – the dead body that has mysteriously appeared in Vera’s tea shop one morning – is the central premise that lets the rest of the story happen. The mystery element is well put together and I didn’t manage to work it out ahead of being told either!

This is a super book (make sure you sit down to read it with a cup of tea and a snack though – Vera’s cooking will make you hungry!) a perfect book to curl up with and enjoy.

With thanks to Netgalley and HQ for a digital copy in exchange for honest review

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers will publish 16 March 2023 and is available for pre-order now.