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Guest Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto



What should have been a family celebration of Chinese New Year descends into chaos when longtime foes crash the party in this hilariously entertaining novel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties. After an ultra-romantic honeymoon across Europe, Meddy Chan and her husband Nathan have landed in Jakarta to spend Chinese New Year with her entire extended family. Chinese New Year, already the biggest celebration of the Lunar calendar, gets even more festive when a former beau of Second Aunt’s shows up at the Chan residence bearing extravagant gifts—he’s determined to rekindle his romance with Second Aunt and the gifts are his way of announcing his courtship. His grand gesture goes awry however, when it’s discovered that not all the gifts were meant for Second Aunt and the Chans—one particular gift was intended for a business rival to cement their alliance and included by accident. Of course, the Aunties agree that it’s only right to return the gift—after all, anyone would forgive an honest mistake, right? But what should have been a simple retrieval turns disastrous and suddenly Meddy and the Aunties are helpless pawns in a decades-long war between Jakarta’s most powerful business factions. The fighting turns personal, however, when Nathan and the Aunties are endangered and it’s up to Meddy to come up with a plan to save them all.  Determined to rescue her loved ones, Meddy embarks on an impossible mission—but with the Aunties by her side, nothing is truly impossible…


Opening Lines:

The wind is a constant song in my ears, the air so cold and refreshing it sparkles against my cheeks as I whoosh down the ski slope. I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve tried skiing. Growing up, Ma and the aunts had forbidden me from doing any “dangerous sports,” which included anything more physically strenuous than chess or piano.


GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose:

Ever since I met them in Dial A for Aunties, I have had a wide-eyed love affair with Jesse Q. Sutanto’s "Aunties" series. In The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties, all my favorites have returned to Indonesia to celebrate Chinese New Year with the family. Don’t ask ‘what could possibly go wrong' rather, 'when.'


The Good, The Bad, and the Aunties is the third and final book in a trilogy.  While the series is fabulously entertaining and best read in order, this book could be picked up and read as a standalone, too.


While I don’t generally write a review starting with the recommendation, I’m going to mix things up for this one--I must be under the Auntie’s influence. Don’t jump into this series expecting a typical cozy mystery or a serious murder plot and police procedural. Come for a side of mystery. Stay for the comedy and the over-the-top family humor. And the Asian food. Gah! I’m starved for Asian food after this.


Meddy and Nathan have come off their honeymoon. I enjoyed seeing him supportive of his wife while totally fitting in with the Chan family crazy. Meddy is the voice of caution when her mom and the Aunties don’t bat an eye about diving into mafia business when Second Auntie’s teenage-crush-turned-mafia-crime-lord makes a Chinese New Year gifting boo-boo and lands them all in the Laksa soup.  


How a land title got in the gift packet was interesting, but the aunties' antics were my favorite. The runaround was dizzying, but like previous books, Meddy, Nathan, and the aunties pull through in the end with the answers and their batik dresses intact. Meddy tends to be the cautious fuddy duddy, but she’s helpless to curb them in the end.


I was sad that this is the last of Sutanto's hilarious Auntie family adventure and cozy mysteries, but all good things must come to an end. Want a mystery you can giggle through? Add the Aunties to your stack.

The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto

#3 Aunties

Cozy Mystery

Publisher:  Berkley

Published: 3.26.24

Pages:  304


Jesse Q. Sutanto is the award-winning, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, Well, That Was Unexpected, The Obsession, and Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. The film rights to her women’s fiction, Dial A for Aunties, was bought by Netflix in a competitive bidding war, and the TV rights to Vera Wong was bought by Warner Bros, with Oprah and Mindy Kaling attached to produce. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Oxford University, though she hasn't found a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse lives in Indonesia with her husband, her two daughters, and her ridiculously large extended family.

You can connect with Jessie Q Sutanto via her website.


Sophia is a quiet, curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants, and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and a loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener allowing her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction, particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.

Connect with Sophia via FACEBOOK  GOODREADS TWITTER 


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