Aunty Lee’s Delights is, simply put, a delight. Aunty Lee is a widow, a restaurateur and a sleuth of determination in Singapore. Mystery series, and especially cozy mystery series, are usually character driven as opposed to plot driven; and it is in character development that Ms. Yu excels so admirably. Like Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe or Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri, Aunty Lee walks out of the book and into your life. You can easily imagine yourself sitting down to one of her dinners and having her tell you just how to get along with your life. Yes, she meddles, but with wisdom and caring. When a member of a dinner party in her restaurant is killed, Aunty Lee simply must make sure the police get the killer. And like McCall Smith’s Botswana and Cotterill’s Laos, Ms. Yu’s Singapore comes to life.
The book jacket tells you this is a debut novel. Perhaps it is the debut of Aunty Lee, or perhaps it is the debut of her English novels, but Ovidia Yu is a well known writer in her home, Singapore.