Day 7: Blackmail and Bibingka

Lately, I’ve just been reading a bunch of fun books. I haven’t had the emotional capacity for anything serious, so here’s my latest: Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia Manansala. I got it through my library/Libby on my kindle.

This is book 3 in the series, and I read the first two on audiobook… honestly, I read them so long ago I was having trouble remembering the characters and plot (but I’m very forgetful). However, I always loved the Filipino food discussions and the general Nancy Drew-level mysteries.

You can read the synopsis on the Amazon page, and I don’t want to say too much because of spoilers.


These books are easy, fun reads. Not exactly a beach read because it takes place in the midwest during Christmas, but still light. Manansala has recipes on her blog for some of the things they make in the book (for some reason, I thought the recipes were in the books? I’ll have to look at a physical copy to see)

I can’t take too much drama in my life right now, especially since most of my reading happens with Blippi on in the background, so this fits right in.


Sometimes the switch between a MURDER MYSTERY and the baking recipes or town event seems to switch up too fast. It can feel like no one is actually sensing danger. I don’t remember thinking that with the first two books, but I did listen to them instead of reading text.


This book, in particular, is festive as they’re preparing for a local event where they’ll showcase the new desserts and restaurant favorites. So it would be fun to read around the holidays. I was mostly thrown off that the suspects were all hanging out together all the time… again, it just seemed like no one was taking the MURDER part seriously.

Overall, it feels like those Hallmark Aurora Garden mysteries (which I have actually never watched, so not sure how I can make that statement). Cute, cozy, not sure why 3 murders happened in a small town, but you’re not scared for your life by the end (like when I finished As Good As Dead and was disturbed for weeks).

I feel like this was not a helpful review-type post. But it’s not like this book has too much to dissect without giving too much away. Even though this book 3 wasn’t my favorite of the series, I’m looking forward to book 4 coming out in a few weeks!

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