Tuesday, July 27, 6:30 p.m.
Presented by the Moline Public Library
Lauded by the Sun-Sentinel as a “well-plotted, poignant, and often sweet debut” that “stirs up a lively mixture of Filipino culture, food, and family bonds,” Mia Manansala's Arsenic & Adobo was released in May to rapturous praise, and on July 27, its author will appear in a virtual presentation hosted by the Moline Public Library to discuss her career, writing process, and book debut that BuzzFeed labeled on of the most highly anticipated mystery novels of 2021.
Arsenic & Adobo finds its heroine Lila Macapagal moving back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seeming to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. Not only is she tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, but she also 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, the young woman's 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.
Arsenic & Adobo author Manansala is a Chicago-based writer and book coach who, as she states at MiaPManansala.com, "loves books, baking, and bad-ass women" and "uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture." Manansala is the winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship. She's also a 2017 Pitch Wars alum and 2018 to 2020 mentor. With a sequel to Arsenic & Adobo, titled Homicide & Halo-Halo, scheduled to be released in February of 2022, the New York Times said of its predecessor, “Manansala peppers the narrative with enough red herrings to keep readers from guessing the killer, but the strength of the novel is how family, food, and love intertwine in meaningful and complex ways."
The virtual discussion with Mia Manansala will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on July 27, participation is free, and more information is available by calling (309)524-2470 and visiting MolineLibrary.com.