cover image The Crepes of Wrath

The Crepes of Wrath

Tamar Myers / Author New American Library $19.99 (232p) ISBN 9

Feisty Mennonite innkeeper and talented sleuth Magdalena Yoder offers a mix of murder and mouthwatering recipes in this, her ninth Pennsylvania Dutch mystery. When Lizzie Mast, a kindly Amish woman, dies of a drug overdose, Melvin Stoltzfus, the inept police chief of Hernia, Pa., asks Magdalena to investigate. Leaving her seven zany guests to fend for themselves on the A.L.P.O. (Amish Lifestyle Plan Option) at the PennDutch Inn and trying not to neglect her new love interest, handsome Jewish doctor Gabriel Rosen, Magdalena calls on Joseph Mast, Lizzie's widowed husband. Joseph attributes his wife's death to his neighbors the Keims and ""rumschpringe"" (the Amish equivalent of teenage rebellion). The two eldest Keim boys secretly purchased a car and ran over the Masts' Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and pet ferret. In retaliation, Joseph shot out the car's tires. Is it a simple case of retribution or something more sinister that led to Lizzie's murder? The Pennsylvania Dutch countryside provides a bucolic setting for Magdalena as she weaves in and out of the English (non-Amish) and Amish societies in her search for the killer. Magdalena's irrepressible personality, amusing colloquial speech and quirky habits (she keeps her pet kitten in her bra) will delight the reader, while the asides on Amish society offer insights into a traditional culture trying to retain its integrity in the 21st century. (Jan. 9)