Fraser Sherman is the winner of Murder and Mamon! Watch for an email from Mia!
I met Mia while I was on the board of Sisters in Crimes. I’ve always admired her work ethic, passion, and commitment to making the writing community a better place for all writers. Mia is here to celebrate the release of Murder and Mamon. Thanks for joining us today, Mia!
“You do realize we’re a cafe, not a plant shop, right?”
This is the opening line of MURDER AND MAMON, the fourth book in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Spring has sprung in my fictional town of Shady Palms, IL, and the cafe is updating its decor and menu to accommodate new seasonal items.
Lila runs the Brew-ha Cafe (Brew-ha is a play on words since bruha/bruja means “witch” in Tagalog and Spanish, respectively, and the pronunciation is the same) with her two best friends, Adeena Awan and Elena Torres. These three very different women all bring something special to the cafe: Adeena is the barista, Elena brings in the plants, dried herbs, teas, plus homemade bath and beauty products, and Lila handles the baking and desserts. Each of them not only has their own specialty, they each weave in elements of their various backgrounds in their offerings: Adeena is Pakistani American, Elena is Mexican American, and Lila is Filipino American. Therefore, you’ll get items like ube crinkles, a delicious cookie that utilizes ube, a purple yam popular in the Philippines (recipe on my website and in my first book, ARSENIC AND ADOBO!). Or rose-cardamom and lavender-honey lattes, as a nod to the floral flavors and spices popular in South Asia, as well as spiced hot chocolate and horchata lattes that embrace Mexican flavors.
Writers and readers alike all seem to love a good cafe, and I’m no exception. One of my pipe dreams when I was younger was to open up a tea shop with one of my best friends that had an upstairs studio area for writers and other creatives. Since that’s never going to happen (I have ZERO business skills), I get to have fun writing the fictional cafe of my dreams. While the Brew-ha Cafe doesn’t have an upstairs studio (though Adeena and Elena are both artists, so maybe…), just about everything else about my protagonist’s workplace is wish fulfillment on my part.
As for real life cafes, one of my local favorites is Brewpoint Coffee with locations in Elmhurst and Oak Park, IL. Yummy drinks + great vibes = perfect place to write.
GIVEAWAY (U.S. only): To win a signed copy of MURDER AND MAMON, let me know about your favorite cafe and why you love it! Winner will be chosen at random from the comments.
When murder mars the grand opening for Lila Macapagal’s aunties’ new laundromat, she will have to air out all the dirty laundry in Shady Palms to catch a killer…
Lila Macapagal’s godmothers April, Mae, and June—AKA the Calendar Crew—are celebrating the opening of their latest joint business venture, a new laundromat, to much fanfare (and controversy). However, what should’ve been a joyous occasion quickly turns into a tragedy when they discover the building has been vandalized—and the body of Ninang April’s niece, recently arrived from the Philippines, next to a chilling message painted on the floor. The question is, was the message aimed at the victim or Lila’s gossipy godmothers, who have not-so-squeaky-clean reputations?
With Ninang April falling apart from grief and little progress from the Shady Palms Police Department in this slippery case, it’s up to Lila and her network to find justice for the young woman.
The Calendar Crew have stuck their noses into everybody’s business for years, but now the tables are turned as Lila must pry into the Calendar Crew’s lives to figure out who has a vendetta against the (extremely opinionated yet loving) aunties and stop them before they strike again.
Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and certified book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She is the author of the multi-award-winning Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series, and uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.
She is the winner of the 2022 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, 2022 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, 2022 RUSA Reading List for Mystery, 2021 Agatha Award for Best First Novel, 2021 Chicago Reader’s Best New Novel by a Chicagoan, 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck – Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship.
Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @MPMtheWriter
Or check out her website: www.miapmanansala.com