Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Suntato is not what I expected. I did not like the perspective (it was odd). The author’s writing style made for an awkward story. It makes for a slow-moving story with repetitive details. There are multiple points of view (five). We get these detailed backstories on each person (I really did not need to know that much about each character). With the multiple points-of-view, it leads to a significant amount of repetition. I do not need the details of the case told to me five times. Vera Wong is made out to be an elderly woman with a strong personality. Vera is only in her sixties (the closer I get to that age the less it seems old). She is still active as proven by her morning powerwalks. Vera is a woman of strong opinions. She is a widow with a grown son who largely ignores his mother. The book moves at a snail’s pace. The story needed action and excitement.
We are privy to each character’s backstory, thoughts, and feelings. Two-year-old Emma was a baffling character. The author gives her characteristics of an older child (talks in complete sentences and can do detailed drawings instead of scribbles). Vera is excited when she finds a dead man in her tea shop. The police are not happy with Vera’s assistance. I was surprised that some of her actions did not find her behind bars. I believe the police wrote off Vera as a silly, interfering old woman. The mystery was simple. It felt as if more pages were devoted to Vera’s thoughts and ideas than the actual case. The reveal is long and drawn out. There is a “twist” which may or may not surprise readers (it depends on how many mysteries you have read). I ended up skimming to get through the story. I did like the ending. The investigation brings new friends and changes to Vera’s life. The story was too long (350 pages) especially for such a straightforward whodunit. I found myself bored by Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murders. There is some mild foul language (just to let you know). I liked the setting of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The author brought the area to life with her vivid word imagery. Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers has an inquisitive tea shop owner, a slain stranger, curious suspects, stimulating strolls, a dispassionate detective, and a surprising solution.
The Avid Reader
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