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Visit Singapore in Ovidia Yu’s Singaporean Mystery Series  

It's no mystery why her books are so well-loved. 

ovidia yu book covers

A Singaporean author of 16-books and novellas, Ovidia Yu has loved writing since she was a little girl.

In an interview for Dru’s Book Musings, Yu explained that she loved comic books, and that she drew her own friends into her comics, but soon found the task of drawing tiresome, and eventually she just stuck to written word. She continued writing, but that was not the path she thought she’d take in her career. 

In her biography, Yu noted that she “accidentally” found herself in medical school before going on to find a better-suited career. When she won first place in a short story writing competition, it was the first time she “dared to think about becoming a writer.” 

Thanks to that contest, Ovidia Yu has given us wonderful mysteries set in past and present Singapore with joyful main characters.

Her works are cozy mysteries, and she understands the appeal of the genre, as noted in an interview with Asian Books Blog:  “When I’m really tired I can read a cosy mystery when I can’t read anything else. It’s like an old friend who you can trust not to bring up arguments about politics or religion just before bed.”

But she explains in the same interview that she sees her works as more traditional mysteries. She said, “I think what’s most appealing in this genre is the interactive element. Not just whodunit, these days, but more and more it’s whydunnit. When reading amateur detective mysteries, the question of how I would behave in such a situation always gives me fresh insights into myself as well as fresh speculations on people I meet!” 

Her first amateur sleuth is the amazing Rosie “Aunty” Lee, who decides she wants more to her life as a wealthy widow than a life of leisure. In her retirement she joins the food industry, starting with catering before opening her own restaurant, Aunty Lee’s Delights.

Aided by her stepson Mark and his snooty wife Selina, Aunty Lee builds her restaurant and catering business to leave her mark on the culinary world. It’s part-mystery, part-love letter to Singapore and its cuisine.

Reviewers call Aunty Lee “a Singaporean Miss Marple” and her maid, Nina, a Watson to Aunty Lee’s Holmes.  

Here’s a guide to the four incredible books in the Singaporean Mystery series. 

Aunty Lee's Delights

Aunty Lee's Delights

By Ovidia Yu

Aunty Lee believes that food is love and takes a strong interest in anyone who eats her food. So when a guest fails to show up for her stepson’s private wine dinner at the restaurant, Aunty Lee thinks something is  awry.

It may be connected to the body washed up on a tourist beach. Using her cooking to disarm police inspectors and suspects alike, Aunty Lee wants to get to the bottom of this missing person and murder case. 

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials

By Ovidia Yu

This book sees Aunty Lee turn her attention to the illegal organ trade in Singapore after a young woman's desperate search for her fiancé ends in tragedy.

Unable to find her fiancé after his trip to Singapore to trade a kidney for much needed cash, the woman kills herself. Aunty Lee wants to get justice for the young lovers.  

Before she can dive into their heartbreaking story, she is asked to host a swanky party at the home of an extremely wealthy couple. But the party goes very wrong when someone gate crashes…and the host and her son are found dead. 

The police and the family want to blame Aunty Lee, as one of the ingredients in a dish she served could be poisonous if improperly prepared. But Aunty Lee knows she did everything right.

She has to find out how and why the mother and son were killed to save her reputation and find justice.  

Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge

Aunty Lee's Chilled Revenge

By Ovidia Yu

Little can stop Aunty Lee—except a bad ankle. Forced to temporarily give up control of the restaurant to her new business partner, Cherril, Aunty Lee is at loose ends.

Cherril decides that Aunty Lee’s restaurant is the perfect place for a meeting between three friends involved in an animal rescue society and the woman threatening to sue them. The woman, Allison Fitzgerald is an ex-pat who adopted a puppy and then decided to put the dog down without  giving the agency a change to try and rehome the dog.

The community turned on the family and they were run out of Singapore.  Now, three years later, Allison wants money from the three women, blaming them for the cyberbullying.

But instead of Allison arriving at the restaurant, her sister shows up  with news of her murder in her hotel room. Now the business partners are under investigation as possible suspects in Allison’s death.

Aunty Lee must find out what happened to the horrible expat now and three years ago. 

Meddling and Murder: An Aunty Lee Mystery

Meddling and Murder: An Aunty Lee Mystery

By Ovidia Yu

Aunty Lee is at odds with her trusty maid Nina, arguing over Aunty Lee’s love life. So when Mark’s entitled wife, Selina, practically demands that Aunty Lee help an old friend named Beth Kwuan when her maid has gone missing, Aunty Lee agrees to send Nina temporarily. 

She wants to show that she does not need anyone’s help. But it’s clear that there is something terrible going on in the friend’s house, and Nina is fearful for her life.

Will Aunty Lee be able to figure what is going on and help Nina? Will they reconcile?