Review: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for MurderersVera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Sixty-year old, Vera Wong, is a widow, mother and owner of a small, rarely visited, tea shop in San Francisco.

Vera, adheres to a strict schedule, and can be opinionated when it comes to other’s lives and scheduling, particularly her son, Tilly. For example, if you aren’t up by 4-4:30 a.m., you’re basically wasting the day away.

As our story begins, you get to meet Vera and learn all about her little peccadilloes from her perspective. I loved her from the very start. She’s perfect.

Vera’s ordered world is suddenly turned upside down when one morning she discovers the body of a deceased man inside her tea shop!

Suspecting she will do a better job than the police, Vera decides to take the investigation into her own hands. The police don’t seem to suspect foul play, but Vera knows, something funny is going on here.

Through a random series of events, Vera comes up with four likely suspects: Julia, the dead man’s wife, Rikki, Sana and Oliver, the dead man’s twin brother. She then inserts herself into the suspect’s lives, because how else is she going to determine which one is guilty?!

Thus, her super-stealthy, and by that I mean over-the-top, often hilarious, slightly-meddling, yet well-intentioned, investigation begins.

I really, really enjoyed this story. The cast of characters, led by Vera, was truly the highlight for me. They were all relatable people, who ended up bonding with Vera in their own ways and for their own distinct reasons.

Vera was definitely a force to be reckoned with. She has such a big heart, is quirky as heck, sweetly innocent in many ways, but also willing to bulldoze anyone in pursuit of her goals. When Vera tells you to jump, you ask how high.

I loved learning about the characters and watching their relationships develop. It was like they all needed support and ended up, through these unfortunate circumstances, finding exactly what they needed.

The overall story was cute, cozy and heart-warming. At times, I did wish for a slightly more intriguing Mystery to help propel the plot, but the found family elements were so strong, it more than made up for that, in my opinion.

I always feel like I connect well with Sutanto’s humor and characters. I just really enjoy her writing style. It’s become such a comfort for me and she is an auto-buy author because of that.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. As expected, this was super fun and cute! I cannot wait to pick up more from this author in the future.

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