Review By Gabrielle

With warmth and humour, Jesse has created another masterpiece in Vera Wong.

Favourite Quote:

She swings her fuzzy-socked feet out with gusto and immediately finds the slippers she placed next to her bed with military precision the night before. She takes a quick moment to send a text to her son, reminding him that he’s sleeping his life away and should have been up and at it before her. He is, after all, a young man with a whole world to conquer. Late mornings, Vera believes, are only for toddlers and Europeans.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady–ah, lady of a certain age–who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing–a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn’t know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of . . . swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.

What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?

Prepare yourself to fall head over heels in love with an old lady. Vera Wong stole my heart right from the very first pages. She’s nosy. She’s bossy. And somehow she knows just what you need. We should all be so lucky to have a Vera Wong in our life. 

I loved everything about this book. The mystery aspect is well done. Jesse kept me guessing right until the end with plenty of twists and turns. I loved how the mystery is almost secondary to the characters and their developing relationships with each other. It was heartwarming to see this ragtag group brought together by Vera. All the characters were great. Jesse gives us enough information for them to feel fully formed and relatable, but holding back enough to keep us wondering whodunit. 

This book is funny. As I’ve come to expect from Jesse’s writing, I laughed out loud many times. I couldn’t get enough of Vera and her antics. From her views on sunscreen, to force feeding everyone, she is both a force to be reckoned with, and an utter delight. I sincerely hope we get to see Vera again in a future book. 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers is a cozy mystery with lots of humour and heart. 

Thank you, Berkeley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.