(Be sure to check out the discussion of the Hot Fun in the Summertime romance selections: Georgie, All Along; Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute; and Never Been Kissed.)
Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries, Book 1: Arsenic and Adobo
Whether you’re a returning CannonBookClub participant or a newbie, welcome! This is the place to discuss Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo. You don’t have to be registered for CBR15 to comment below, but there are a few ground rules:
- The topics are numbered, so please refer to them by that number to help people keep track of (and participate in) the conversations they’re looking for.
- One topic per comment, which will also help keep things clear.
- If you are responding to someone else’s thoughts, please try to reply directly to that comment.
Back in 2021, superstar Cannonballer narfna gave Manansala’s debut novel 3.5 stars and ended that review with absolutely droolworthy pictures of some of the dishes mentioned in the book. Even if you haven’t posted a review of this one yet, you can head down to the comments and tell us what you thought. You might also find folks chatting about Lila and the rest of the Shady Palms crew on our social media platforms, and Arsenic and Adobo will be the first of our four selections up for discussion on our #CannonBookClub Zoom call tomorrow (Saturday, June 24, 7pm Eastern). I will definitely have thoughts.
But for now, here are the discussion topics—don’t forget to include the number in your comment!
1. Was this anyone’s first time reading a mystery? A cozy mystery?
2. Do you have a favorite (sub)genre? If yes, what is it, and why—what do you like about it? And is anyone’s favorite genre either mystery or romance?
3. Within your favorite (sub)genre, what are your favorite/least favorite tropes?
4. Did Arsenic and Adobo meet your expectations for a cozy mystery? Did anything about it surprise you?
Questions about Arsenic and Adobo
5. As a book about a murder: What did you think of how the actual mystery in this book was handled? Has anyone read further books in this series? Would you recommend them?
6. As a book about family: Family (by blood and by choice) is obviously a crucial piece of both the plot and the characterization of Lila Macapagal. Sibling rivalry, family dynamics, responsibility to/for family—this is the place to talk about the family ties that bind.
7. As a book about food: The food in this book is also incredibly important, and not just as a catalyst. If you want to talk about food, this is the prompt you’re looking for. What did you think about Manansala’s food writing? Too much? Too little? Just enough? Could you relate to how important food was to Lila’s family, culturally speaking? What about food as a love language or a symbol? What’s your “desert island food?” Can you tell that I get excited about food? Bonus points if you’ve tried any of the recipes referred to or included!
8. “I can’t believe you haven’t asked yet about Amir and Jae!”