The Best books of 2013

Ovidia Yu's 5 Loves and a Dud

Aunty Lee's Delights book coverToday's guest: Ovidia Yu Why we love her: Love her witty writing!

Her latest: Aunty Lee's Delights (Out September 17th!)

The scoop: This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie "Aunty" Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home-cooking restaurant

After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could have become one of Singapore's "tai tai," an idle rich lady. Instead she is building a culinary empire from her restaurant, Aunty Lee's Delights, where spicy Singaporean meals are graciously served to locals and tourists alike. But when a body is found in one of Singapore's tourist havens and one of her guests fails to show at a dinner party, Aunty Lee knows that the two events are likely connected.

The murder and disappearance throws together Aunty Lee's henpecked stepson, Mark, his social-climbing wife, Selina, a gay couple whose love is still illegal in Singapore, and an elderly Australian tourist couple whose visit may mask a deeper purpose. Investigating the murder are Police Commissioner Raja and Senior Staff Sergeant Salim, who quickly discover that Aunty Lee's sharp nose for intrigue can sniff out clues that elude law enforcers.

Wise, witty, and charming, Aunty Lee's Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship, and food in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities coexist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Our thoughts: We're loving mysteries lately! And Ovidia's latest is fun, funny and intriguing--leaving you guessing until the very end!

Giveaway: ONE copy. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, September 15th after 3pm PST.

Where you can read more about Ovidia: Her website, TwitterFacebook


Ovidia Yu author photoLoves

1. I love hot dessert soups. Most of them are supposed to be ‘healthy’, bringing the body’s hot and cool levels back in balance, so they come with less food-guilt than cake or ice cream. One of my favourites is barley soup simmered with gingko nuts and bean curd skin. This is the taste of my childhood memories. Little girls were told it would give us beautiful complexions. I don’t know if that’s true but it can’t hurt!

2. I love Durian. If you didn’t grow up with durian culture the smell can initially be off putting. But I really love the bitter sweet taste and the soft golden custard pillows encased in slightly stretchy golden skin. In fact some people here say that a good way to test whether a foreigner really loves you is to see how willing he or she is to taste durian!

3. I love my dogs of course. Princess and Hermione were SPCA rescue dogs. When they first came to me all they wanted to do was huddle together under the table. Now they are loving company, exercise prompts and morale boosters. It’s good to know that no matter how badly the writing is going I can make two doglets blissfully happy with a little walk—and that usually clears up my head too.

4. I love reading children’s and YA books as well as cozy mysteries and chick lit. I think that’s because they are what I encountered when I first fell in love with reading. I do read other stuff too (like I try to eat from all the major food groups I read poetry and I buy Man Booker winners with good intentions and sometimes even enjoy them)

5. And I love iPad Games like Plants vs Zombies and Castle Rush. I realise admitting this probably means I’ve lost all credibility as a mature adult but I find they work as stress therapy for me. When I’m bogged down in middle-of-plot tangles it’s very relaxing to focus on the simple task of killing zombies or yetis. I think of it as Massacre Meditation.


Shoes that look great and fit perfectly in the store but turn into cramping, blister causing monsters on my feet. (I have very broad and flat feet so maybe finding shoes that look and feel great is wishful thinking). Recently a friend who knows me well got me a lovely traditional embroidered ‘nonya kebaya’ top (which I really love) and her instructions for wearing it included, ‘not with Doc Martens’!


Thanks, Ovidia!