Reading Two of My Most Anticipated Mysteries // Finlay Donovan Is Killing It & Arsenic and Adobo

If you knew me, you wouldn't categorize me as a mystery reader. Thrillers in general bore me. But I have enjoyed a fair few in the past especially since they tend to be fast-paced and fun. There were three mysteries on my radar that were coming out this year that I had a great feeling I would enjoy - Finlay Donovan is Killing It, Arsenic and Adobo, and Dial A for Aunties. The former being a book club pick for my mother-daughter book club. Here are my thoughts on the two others:

Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.
My taste in mystery shows can be boiled down to Hannibal and Prodigal Son. This basically tells you why I was so excited for Finlay Donovan is Killing It. 

Family dynamics ✅
Killers ✅
Humor and Wit ✅

Finlay is not having a good time. Her ex-husband is a total tool who had an affair but still makes her feel like she's not good enough. She's having a hard time making ends meet. And her writing career is at a standstill. After meeting with her agent at Panera to talk about her current fictional crime writing project, she is incidentally mistaken for a contract killer. I mean she knows a lot about crime and how to get away with murder. The money could help out a lot. Should she do it?

This book absolutely killed it. I loved everything about this. The humor, the family dynamics, her sticking it to her ex, her friendship with the nanny, and her multiple love interests. Let's be honest, the love aspect of the story only boosted everything up in my mind. The many times I'm thinking oh, no she's going to get caught making this such a suspenseful and fun read especially since she's an amateur. This was like a cozy mystery without the protagonist having to solve the murder, but cover it up. Highly recommend!

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…
I've only read about three cozy mysteries before and I've got to say... it's a difficult genre to make me fall for and I really want to love cozies. I just haven't found one that I would want to continue. Until now.

Lila is helping out at her Tita Rosie's Filipino restaurant. It's struggling which isn't a surprise because her Tita Rosie undervalues her amazing food. She moved back to her small town not only to her family but because of a difficult breakup. And of course, it doesn't end there when her ex-boyfriend from high school is a notoriously rude critic who eats up all their food but still leaves a terrible review. Then he dies at the restaurant and they all look at Lila like she's the culprit. To save her family's restaurant and herself from being sent to jail she must do some sleuthing with her best friend in tow. Will she be able to find the real killer?

Food descriptions are my jam. And cozies centered around restaurants, cafes, or baking always have amazing ones. So of course I've always wanted to get into this genre. It was made for me.... and to make me hungry. Other than the delicious-sounding food descriptions, I loved Lila's headstrong nature and her Tita Rosie who was an absolute sweetheart. Of course, the multiple love interests also made me happy. You know I need that romantic subplot. There is an investigator who I think would make a good love interest, a dentist, and her friend's brother. Lots of complications with each of them even the dentist. I am for sure continuing on with this series. I hope I can find other cozies like Arsenic and Adobo. Come on, step up your game cozies! Highly recommend.

Do you read cozy mysteries? 
What would you recommend?


  1. I have been reading cozies by the truckload the last year or two but somehow have not read either of these! They both look so fun - especially the first one! Arsenic and Adobo is already on my TBR but I'm definitely adding Finley Donovan to my list too. As for cozy recommendations have you tried Julia Buckley's Hungarian tea room mysteries? They're fun and a bit different so it might be a good one to try.


Post a Comment

back to top