Cover Image: Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

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Another #fivestarread for me this month. I loved so many things about this book. It’s funny, sad, warming, uplifting and heartfelt.
I loved Vera and her meddling ways, loved how she jumped to conclusions and rationalized her thinking.
It was so fun to watch her go through so many characters as she tried to solve this murder mystery.
Speaking of characters, each one of them were “connected” to the murder but also had their own mini story which enlightened and made this book so much fun.

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When Vera Wong wakes up to find a dead man in her tea shop, there is no way she was leaving the crime solving to the police. No, she is determined to catch his killer herself.

Jesse Q. Sutanto has quickly become a go-to author when I’m looking for a book that is going to have me howling with laughter. And as someone who loves to investigate neighborhood mysteries via twitter and NextDoor, I quickly became invested in this story. Vera in particular was such a fun, loveable character. Even with all of her meddling, her heart was in the right place, and the situations she found herself in were hilarious. I love that she somehow was able to turn this group of suspects into a chosen family of sorts. This book had my heart from the beginning and I loved every minute of it.

I am so excited this book will be making its way to screens soon because we all definitely need more Vera in our lives!

Thanks to Berkley Publishing for the advance copy and to @berittalksbooks and @dg_reads for the buddy read!

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This mystery was all the best parts of chosen family, cozy, and rich culture - I really enjoyed following Vera along on her sleuthing. I felt like in the end, she became my auntie too. Would recommend this to readers new to thriller, or those who enjoy a light mystery here and there.

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Vera Wong is an older Chinese lady who lives above her not-so-successful tea shop. She spends her time making special tea blends for her one customer and harassing her son about what he should be doing with his life. She is startled one morning to wake up and find a dead man in the middle of her empty tea shop. Before contacting the police, she discovers a flash drive in the hand of the dead man. Knowing she can do a better job of solving the murder, she takes the flash drive and keeps it a secret from the police.

When the friends and family members of the dead man start showing up a her shop looking for answers, she befriends them in order to conduct her own murder investigation. It seems that they all have a motive for the man’s murder, but she starts to let these people into her life and she begins to care deeply for them and her investigation becomes a muddled mess. She cannot let the police solve the murder investigation as it seems they are at their wits’ end. Will one of the close friends she has now let into her life turn out to be the murderer?

This was a cute little cozy mystery debut from Jessie Sutanto who is well known for her other books featuring Asian American characters. I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the Chinese culture and how others see them in an American society. At times, the story dragged a little slowly, but other than that this was a great quick read that should be enjoyable to mystery lovers everywhere.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars
Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto

Series: N/A

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Pages: 348

Genre: Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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SO MUCH LOVE FOR VERA!! This was a delight. A funny and heartwarming story of murder, found family, friendships, and FOOD. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Vera and her tea shop!

<i>ARC Provided by NetGalley<i>

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This is such a fun book. Vera Wong is the ultimate main character/ amateur detective. If you found a dead body in your quiet, aging tea shop, would your first instinct be to start investigating? Because of course you'd be more thorough than the police assigned to investigate? And assume that the perpetrator will come back to the scene of the crime? And let them know you're investigating?

Vera is an older widow with time on her hands. And this dead body is just the excitement she needs. And suspects do come to the scene of the crime. And Vera feeds them and meddles and they become kind of a lovely found family. Read it to see who did it!

This was an enjoyable mystery that kept me smiling. I'd love to see more of Vera!

4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy. All opinions are my own.

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Vera is an older lady and she finds a dead man in her teashop. The police said was a natural death. She doesn't believe it and starts snooping...
Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you). Publication date is March 14th.

This is a complicated story of a man no one liked, not even his wife and child. He has a chance to make money so he leaves them.

Vera has several suspects and goes down the list looking for the possible murderer.

I was amazed over who had killed him. Do you think you can figure it out?

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I really enjoyed this read. Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the 'women with other jobs' category of mystery fiction, and Vera and her band of wayward twenty- and thirty-somethings are a fantastic addition to the canon. The author pokes fun at Vera's flaws while also making very clear her love for the people around her and taking seriously the severe repercussions of isolation on the elderly.

I also enjoyed that the mystery was so emotionally complex. While I don't know how I feel about the solving of it as a reader, I think that the disparate elements of the mystery, the motivations, and the ultimate assignation of culpability were deeply interesting - the kind of ethical situation I could turn over in my head for ages. Thankfully, this book isn't one to wallow in what is the objectively right answer to a complex situation. As a reader, I was given the facts and the ultimate way they were received in the fiction and asked to move forward from there, which is absolutely perfect for this decisive and opinionated protagonist.

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5 Stars


Vera Wong is a widow who’s son basically ignores her despite her excellent unsolicited advice for him. She runs Vera Wang’s Famous Tea House (so smart to name it after someone so recognizable, huh?) and even though she only has one steady customer, she knows her establishment is something to be proud of.

Until a dead body winds up in her shop. And the police don’t appreciate her assistance (DIDNT THEY LOVE HOW DETAILED HER BODY OUTLINE WAS AND HOW CLEAN HER SHOP IS AND WHAT ABIUT THE TEA AND FOOD SHE MADE THEM?!). Vera does what any sensible grandmother would do…she takes the investigation into her own hands.

Vera befriends each suspect, getting incredibly close, and bringing each suspect close together. As she works through their motives, you can’t help but fall in love with the incredible human that is Vera Wong (unsolicited advice and all).

This story has a mystery, a side bit of romance, a healthy dose of found family, and so much growth. It’s a perfectly formed concoction, much like Vera’s teas.

Jesse has written romance, YA, and now a cozy-ish mystery and I swear this author can do no wrong. Her stories and the characters are so well formed you can’t help but feel every emotion and laugh along the way.

I absolutely recommend to everyone! I read via audio and the narrator absolutely made this book. The accents, language, and enthusiasm made this story one I won’t forget! Also…taking applications for my own personal Vera Wong.

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Sutanto's Dial A for Aunties series is one of the freshest series I've read in years. I'm so glad she is continue to stretch her writing skills and imagination. Vera Wong is a delightful character. I fell in love with all of the characters and the book. I rushed out and recommended it to many friends!

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When Vera Wong finds a dead man on the floor of her tea shop, she knows exactly what to do: solve the murder. What she doesn’t expect is the number of suspects who turn up and end up being roped into her investigation.

What I liked most was the whole story! Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murders kept me laughing the entire way as the characters try to figure out how to handle Vera and Vera tries to figure out who the killer is. This was such a fun mystery and I enjoyed it so much.

What frustrated me is that I don’t know if a second book is coming. Sutanto says that this idea kind of just came to her and she put off working on her other books to get this one out. So does that mean there will be a second? Who knows! Sutanto has so many other books coming out, it could be a while before we find out about this one.

I recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries, the sassy older folks, and a multiple POVs in a book.

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Vera Wong runs a failing teashop and is wondering what to do with the rest of her days. When a dead body is found in the shop one morning Vera decides the police don't know what they're doing and thanks to all of her hours watching CSI she will do a much better job at finding the killer. I loved this book so much and hope with all my heart this becomes a series. Vera is the Chinese mother/grandmother we all need.

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Brimming with heart, humor and all sorts of mishaps and hijinks…this book made me laugh and made me feel. I absolutely it!

The coziest of mysteries featuring one meddlesome old lady, one dead guy, four suspects and a mysterious thumb drive…this book had me captivated from the start! Vera brings out the very best in people. She is a precious national treasure that must be protected at all costs.

This book is for you if you like: cozy mysteries, sassy old ladies, found families and heartwarming stories.

Thank you Berkley and Netgalley for my copy.

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This book was great fun. A bit of a slow start led to a story that was both funny and touching with a decent mystery thrown ion to the mix. Highly recommended.

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Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Pub Date Mar 14: 2023
Thanks to the author, publisher and Net Galley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Fascinating new cozy mystery. Told from five points of view , the novel gives readers extra insights into Vera, Julia, Riki, Sana and Oliver.
If you’re looking for an entertaining, heartwarming cozy mystery, I highly recommend this book.
4 stars

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Vera Wong is not about to let anyone put a crimp in her plans or rain on her parade! She raised a successful son and buried her partner from a long, loving marriage. She rises with the sun and has a plan for every day and each person who comes her way in that day. Unfortunately, that's not many people. Vera would never say she is lonely. However, each day is a lot like the last. And, sadly, most of the interesting parts are over with by 8am. Then it's just waiting around till tomorrow. Until the morning Vera Wong comes downstairs from her apartment over her World Famous Tea Shop and find a man dead on her floor. Finally! Something exciting! But when the police come to the scene of the crime, Vera finds they are not at all perceptive or useful. They chalk up what is obviously a murder (in Vera's estimation) as a natural death. Who in their right mind breaks into a tea shop to die naturally? Vera knows the only way to bring a resolution to this new development in her world is by commencing her own sleuthing. In the end, the police will, no doubt, thank her. In the midst of the excitement of solving a crime, Vera meets four young people who all knew the murder vicitm and all have serious problems of their own. Vera Wong is rather disappointed because she has really come to care about these young people, but justice demands truth and Vera won't stop till the murder is solved.

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A dead man is found in Vera's teahouse one morning. Vera thinks the police are doing a lousy job of investigating. She decides she will show them who the murderer is. She has four suspects: Julia, Oliver, Riki, and Sana. All four of these people lie. Vera though keeps on iinvolving herself in their lives; uncovering the lies.
Vera is an unique person. Discover what she knows as she feeds these four with delicious and overwhelming amount of Chinese food.
Jesse Sutanto has written a well-crafted mystery. Read and enjoy.

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Before I started reading this, someone told me if I loved the Finlay Donovan books, I would love these. I would agree 100% with that assessment. This cozy mystery was pure fun! Vera Wong is an easy character to get to know and travel with this through this mystery. One thing that I love about this cozy mystery and others like it, is that it can take a serious subject, throw in some witty lines and hijinks and make it a hilarious good time! If you love cozy mysteries and tea, you are going to love Vera Wong. It is everything you are hoping for it to be and more.

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This is trademark Jesse Q Sutanto: heartfelt antics and happy endings. A nice complement to her DIAL A FOR AUNTIES series with voicey characters and a fast-moving plot!

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Widow, Vera Wong, is desperate to offer advice to people, especially her adult son, Tilly. However, he never calls and never wants her advice on anything. At 60 years old, Vera devotes herself to her San Francisco tea shop, which she calls “Vera Wang’s World-Famous Teahouse.” No, that’s not a typo. Vera Wong figures more people have heard of Vera Wang and it would attract more customers.

One morning, Vera walks into her tea shop and finds a dead man in the middle of her shop. She’s sure it’s murder and she’s also sure the police can’t handle the investigation on their own. Vera is determined to find the truth. She just had no idea how many potential suspects she’d come across.

This is a standalone mystery filled with offbeat characters and humor laced through from page one to the end. These characters, especially Vera, quickly become beloved characters in my eyes. I found myself caring about them all and hoping none of them would turn out to be killers.

This is so much more than a cozy mystery. It’s the story of a lonely woman and how she deals with people whether they are blood relationships or not. It’s packed with charm, drama, emotions and a whole lot of fun. It, also, keeps you guessing until the end. I couldn’t figure out how things were going to end up, but the ending put everything together very nicely.

I couldn’t put this one down and it’s now on my best of 2023 list. I never read any books by this author before, but it definitely won’t be my last. I’m already searching for her backlist. I love finding such great new-to-me authors.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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