Dial A for Aunties

By Jesse Q. Sutanto

ISBN: 9780593336731

Author Website: jesseqsutanto(.)com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro


A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.

1 (accidental) murder

2 thousand wedding guests

3 (maybe) cursed generations

4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Story Locale: Southern California (Goodreads)


Meddy is a family person, very close to her mom and aunties, but the idea of living home and the family business to start her own career is eating her from inside. As a child she heard of the family curse which made men leave every woman in her lineage. Meddy’s father left, her uncles left, and even her male cousins left the household as soon as they could. How can Meddy do the same to her mom and aunties who have given everything to raise her well? She can’t.

The curse isn’t all that stresses Meddy, she also has her mom setting her up with every man she can find. Meddy does not wish to marry anytime soon, especially not after losing the love of her life for fear of the family curse. But Meddy’s mom has really done it this time finding Meddy a date using her name in an online dating site. Now, Meddy has to go to an unwanted blind date the day before the biggest wedding event her family has ever catered. The unexpected happens and Meddy has to dispose of a body, and still make it to the wedding.

“I told you to buy Glad brand. Haven’t you seen their ads? Glad bags will hold his cut-up body just fine, no leaks!”

This was definitely a hilarious story! I loved the dynamic between Meddy, her mom, and aunts. The aunties were the best part. You have to be part of a family like Meddy’s to understand the inside jokes and the care they have for each other. In moments of need, family always finds a way to help. During several occasions I burst out laughing at what the aunties would say or try to do. I kept expecting for someone to find out what they were up to throughout the let’s hide the body game. Their explanation would be hilarious.

Meddy’s relationship with Nathan is quite relatable as well. She feels pressured of what her family is going to think of him and vice versa. But when Nathan comes back into her life years later, Meddy is surprised to discover that her family actually likes Nathan. This could all have been due to her mom understanding Meddy better after interfering with online dating and bad blind dates.

I loved the build up to the wedding that author Sutanto created! The groomsmen were by far the best part during the event and ceremony. Eventually, the reader finds out why they were drunk so early into the wedding day. I didn’t know what to think of the bride and groom at first, or the maid of honor, but as the story progresses, their personalities become more obvious. They were quite interesting. 

Towards the end, a storm was definitely brewing, and I was rooting for Meddy to confess. All the stress was building up and ready to explode any moment, but the aunties saved the day! They are ladies to keep an eye on. I can’t spoil the ending, but I can say that it was sort of morbidly hilarious.If you want a peek into the life of Asian aunties and what they can do in the name of family and love, then I recommend Dial A for Aunties.