person pouring hot water on white cup
20.01.2024

Book review: “Vera Wong’s unsolicited advice for murderers”

By Anastasia Baraeva
2 min read

If you are drinking harsh, bitter green tea at this moment, just know that those people who have brewed it for you, unfortunately, didn’t read the detective story “Vera Wong’s unsolicited advice for murderers” by Jesse Q. Sutanto.

Vera Wong is an ambitious Chinese tea expert in her 60s who owns a quaint, albeit rundown, tea shop. She has a knack for brewing the perfect cup of tea and whipping up the ideal meal for each specific person. In her leisure time, she entertains herself with sticking her nose into others’ lives, including her son’s one. This unexpectedly comes in handy when Vera discovers a dead body in her teahouse and kicks off her own investigation of the crime. However, the smug woman pays a high price for her decision because, by looking into the accident, she learns a lot about her true self.

person pouring hot water on white cup
Photo by 五玄土 ORIENTO on Unsplash

Regardless of the genre of the book, the murder mystery is filled with more humor than angst. Vera’s wacky and ingenious attempts to figure out who murdered the man made me laugh more than once; Vera has completely stolen my heart, and I want a Vera in my life. Although the story isn’t fast-paced, I was engaged throughout. The author has nailed the description of the irritating protagonist’s personality, people’s reactions to it, and earnest transformations all the characters undergo as the plot develops. 

It is an enjoyable whodunit for those who need a best friend’s support or a grandmother’s warmth, and, at the same time, are not afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone.