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Library Journal★ 09/01/2013
Widowed Aunty Lee has two passions: the news and food. Her café is a popular Singapore institution, and she graciously supports her stepson Mark's vintner aspirations by hosting tasting dinners with ticketed guests, including some Aussie tourists. But Mark's scheming wife is not to be trusted, nor perhaps Laura, his hired assistant. When Laura doesn't show up to work the latest dinner, Aunty suspects Laura might be the unidentified dead woman found on the beach (it's on all the local news channels). When her hunch is confirmed, Aunty moves into full-on amateur sleuth mode, dragging her loyal assistant Nina into the investigation. Thankfully, Salim Mawar, the lead detective on the case, finds Aunty and Nina irresistible—and startlingly prescient. Then, when a mysterious stranger arrives from the United States, looking for Laura, the killer becomes more desperate. VERDICT Using a slightly fussy and gossipy tone, Yu has created a winning traditional-style series that's sure to go over big with fans of Tarquin Hall, Anne Zouroudi, and Alexander McCall Smith. Her protagonist, a Singaporean Miss Marple, is marvelous.