Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
The cover of this book caught my attention, and the blurb sealed it for me. I can’t wait to read this. DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q Suntano sounds amazing and hilarious.Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.
1 (accidental) murder2 thousand wedding guests3 (maybe) cursed generations4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body.
Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Story Locale: Southern California
Excerpt from DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q. Sutanto
I open the car door, heart thundering. “Ma, you scared me!”
She frowns at me. “What is it, Meddy? What’s wrong?”
I wasn’t planning on telling her anything. Of course I wasn’t— the last person I want to tell is Ma. She wouldn’t know what to do, or say, or—
“Ma, I killed him.” Tears spring into my eyes when I hear myself say those words out loud. I killed him. How many more times would I have to say that?
“Kill him? Kill what? Aduh, Meddy, how many times must I tell you, don’t drink so much. You see, now you’re not making any sense.”
“I killed him, Ma. Jake. The guy you set me up with!” And now, finally, I let the tears flow, because saying his name is awful. It’s not just some body in my trunk; it’s a body who used to be a someone.
Ma stops her nattering mid-sentence. Her mouth claps shut, and she stares at me for a while. When she next speaks, it’s in halting English. “This is like what you and Selena like to say? You kids always saying, ‘Wah, you killing it!’ Like that, ya?”
“No!” I cry. “I mean I literally killed him, Ma!” Not knowing what else to do, I take out my car key and hit a button. The trunk pops open with a click that might as well be a gunshot inside our small garage. All noise is suddenly amplified; I can hear my own heartbeat, and Ma’s sharp intake of breath.
“Meddy,” she whispers, “this is joke, right? You just joking with me?”
“No, Ma, this isn’t a joke.”
A strangled laugh from Ma; then she shakes her head. “You kids, ya, you always think you are so funny.” She wags a finger at me and strides to the back of the car, still shaking her head. “My daughter, such a joker, so—AIYA wo de tian ah!” She stumbles back, hands covering her mouth.
“Meddy,” she hisses. “Meddy! This is not funny.” She looks back and forth between me and the trunk. “Are those fake legs? What you call it—man-ee-kween?”
I shake my head, fresh tears springing to my eyes. “No, Ma, it’s not a mannequin. It’s really Jake, I swear.”
She utters a noise that’s somewhere between a howl and a whimper, then takes a moment to steel herself before peering closer into the trunk. She whimpers again when she sees the rest of the body. I imagine what she’s seeing from her vantage point. First the shoes—brown loafers, no socks—then the legs, the torso, and then the hoodie covering his face.
“Why you cover the face?” she says. “Something horrible happen to it, is it?” She shudders. “Is there something sticking out of the eye? Aiya, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.” She flaps, grimacing. “Is it broken glass in his eye?”
“No, Ma. There’s nothing sticking out of his eye. I just thought it would be, I don’t know, more respectful.”
“Oh.” She nods. “Yes, you right, more respectful.” She pats me on the cheek. “I raise you so well.”
Hysteria rises from deep in my stomach and I have to swallow it. Trust Ma to take pride in my etiquette when I’ve just shown her my date, whom I’ve killed, in the trunk of my car.
“I did just kill a person, so I don’t know that you can say you’ve raised me well.”
“Oh, he must deserve it.”
I bite my lip to keep from bursting into tears again. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to explain myself to her.
From DIAL A FOR AUNTIES published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Jesse Q. Sutanto.
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