Book review: “Dial A for Aunties” by Jesse Q Sutanto

Thumbs up for Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto. Crime.

Meddelin Chan accidentally kills a guy on a blind date; her aunties leap into action with a plan to dispose of the body, while simultaneously managing a two-thousand-guest resort wedding for their family business. Insanity ensues. I was a little mislead by the fact that after “humor” this book was categorized as “romantic comedy”; it is in fact a crime farce, and while the heroine’s attempt to get back with her ex is important to her, it’s a fairly minor point in a wildly complicated plot. In fact, the romance felt like the weakest part of the story; we barely see the heroine with her love interest. However, once I changed my expectations to “farce” it all came together. It’s easy to see why Meddelin both loves and hates her family, who smother her but are also willing to commit felonies for her at the drop of a hat. Everything is resolved in ways I would never have expected, after a fair bit of nail-biting and “OH NO” laughter. As an additional note, catching a glimpse of the ceremonies unique to a Chinese-Indo wedding was surprisingly enjoyable (I say as someone who has never enjoyed a wedding).

Second Aunt tuts, as though my lack of tears were a personal affront to her, before joining the others in the kitchen. Noise explodes from the kitchen, though not of the “Oh my god, Meddy did what? [killed someone]” variety. More of the “Wah, dragon fruit! Aduh, you shouldn’t have bothered!” variety. I can hear Ma pulling out chairs and shouting merrily at them to sit down and have some mangoes. “Ah Guan gave me a whole crate when he came back from Indo. A whole crate!”

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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