Review: Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

Series: Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #2
Author: Mia P. Manansala
Publisher: Berkley Books
Released: February 8, 2022
Received: NetGalley

4 1/2 kitties

Yes! The sequel to Arsenic and Adobo is finally here! Homicide and Halo-Halo is the second novel in Mia P. Manansala’s series, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery. My only regret is that the Book of the Month Club didn’t have it available as an add-on. I would have loved to have a matching set.

Lila Macapagal’s life has been through the wringer in recent years. After returning home, she found herself framed by murder and then very nearly a victim to the same criminal. She survived, and she’s trying to get her life back in order now.

But she’s got so much on her plate these days. Starting up a new business with her friends, judging the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant (something she didn’t exactly want to do), and juggling her family and personal life. It’s a lot – and that’s before considering the latest murder.

“Was it so wrong to want to make my own choices, even if they were the wrong ones? I already had Lola Flor and the rest of my family telling me what to do, I didn’t need my romantic partner doing the same.”

I legit have been counting down the days for the release of Homicide and Halo-Halo. I adore Lila, the world she lives in, and Mia P. Manansala’s writing. It’s the perfect storm, and I just can’t get enough of it.

So, the real question is: did Homicide and Halo-Halo live up to my hyped expectations? I would have to say yes! I enjoyed the story, characters, and of course, all of the delicious food described within these pages. I’m already looking forward to the next novel in this series. I’m hooked.

The thing I love the most about this series is that it is a cozy mystery with a twist. There’s just so much personality within each and every book. Lila is bursting with it, and the same could be said for nearly every other character that appears.

The other thing I love about it all is how light and welcoming it feels – despite being centered around crimes and murders. It makes for a fun read, one that is unusually bright in contrast to my normal reading selections. It’s the perfect change of pace.

Finally, I adore that Homicide and Halo-Halo tackled some very real concerns and issues. I won’t spoil the book by talking about them, but it addresses mental health concerns, including PTSD. Remember how the last book concluded, and that connection is pretty clear.

Likewise, Homicide and Halo-Halo addressed many concerns surrounding beauty pageants. This made me really happy to see, and I know I won’t be the only one feeling that way. It was tactful and upfront about each and every concern.

The third novel in Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery is set to release on October 4, 2022. It’s titled Blackmail and Bibingka, and I am once again counting down the days. No regrets here.

Thanks to Berkley Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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