Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.

the good, the bad, and the auntiesMeddy and Nathan are finishing off their honeymoon by heading to Jakarta to spend Chinese New Year with Meddy’s extended family. When an old flame of Second Aunt turns up, he tries to impress her by handing out generous red packet gifts at the celebration. Except one of those red packets wasn’t intended for them, and Meddy finds herself in the midst of a bitter rivalry between some of Jakarta’s biggest business owners. Or are they gangsters?

With each book of Jesse Sutanto’s that I pick up, I hope it is going to make me laugh out loud as much as Dial A for Aunties did, but none have come close. I’d say The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties is fun rather than funny.

It was great to see Meddy’s family return to their roots in Jakarta, and witness their Chinese New Year celebrations. I thought maybe the premise would be them running round Jakarta, trying to locate the missing red packet, but alas, they find it pretty quickly and then things go downhill.

Abi, Julia Child, and Kristofer are just not convincing as the people they’re meant to be. If you believe them, they are high-flying business owners, or if you side with Meddy, they’re gang leaders. Instead they act a bit like children. People who kidnap people, aren’t nice people, even in a comedy they should have been a bit edgier. However they aren’t particularly developed as characters at all.

This is the end of the Aunties, and it’s probably the right decision, as it feels like she’s struggling to come up with plots for them, or didn’t want to put them in the way of any real harm.

It was a quick and easy read, of course, and if you already love the Aunties and don’t mind a bit of silliness, it’s worth your time to finish their story.

The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties is published by HQ and will be available in paperback, ebook and audiobook editions from 28th March 2024. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

Goodreads | Amazon* | Waterstones* | Hive | Wordery | Blackwell’s* | Bookshop.org*

*indicates an affiliate link