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Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Crime

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Filming at the inn.

    When Magdelena Yoder rents out the inn to a movie crew filming a horror movie she ends up with much more than expected. The town has tampled her yard in the hopes of getting a bit part, she and her sister are acting in the movie, and there is a corpse in the barn. As almost everyone in turn becomes the prime suspect Magdelena's logic once again amazes.

    The characters are always entertaining in this series, but the filming of a movie was just a little more than I could stretch my imagination to acccept. The setting is as charming as usual and I look forward to reading more in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2006

    Magda┬┐s Spyglass Focuses Inward With Wide-Eyed, Grinning Honesty, as well as Outward With All In Fun Observations.

    Magdelana¿s snap, cracke & pop descriptions of people in her world drives a quick, delightful read, so much so that it¿s easy to miss some of the constant and intriguing, worthy cultural messages. What I enjoyed most in the opening chapters of this 2nd novel in the PenDutch series was the point at which Magdalena first turned her snappy spyglass onto her foibles, focusing a schooldays shadow as brightly as the dim wittedness she¿d been observing outside herself. After establishing her humorous disgust of the reportedly lacking mental capacities of Susannah¿s boyfriend and Hernia¿s chief of police, Melvin Stoltzfus, Magdalena noted her collection of ¿DUH¿ brain cells by confessing to the reader that it was Melvin¿s paper she chose to copy that one-and-only time she ever cheated on an exam. I enjoyed the fact that Bugsy, in the first scene, wasn¿t at all put off, insulted, or deterred by Mags¿s clear and constant rips on his person, character, and apparent con-artist intentions. Be sure to spot the whitehead on his nose, which changes sides from day to day, and never escapes Mags¿s focus. The humor in this series is fast, deep, and complex. I love it when a fictional female (or male, for that matter) actually spouts in public a few choice descriptions which I¿d love to open mouth to but wouldn¿t dare, for fear of either being stomped out of existence, or hurting someone I would never want to hurt. Magda periodically confesses that she¿s living dangerously when she out pops with something most of us couldn¿t get out of the voice-box outside the safety of paper and print. Usually, my take on this type of daring (fictional) humorous release is, that¿s what novels are for? Magda¿s scenes with doc bring out her sensitive side, in those precious moments when she relates to him with compassion, without comic cover (which can become a high-grade, sophisticated emotional firewall). Magda¿s moxie hides the hugely sensitive, warm heart of a sometimes frightened woman, as evidenced by many subtle scenes, but especially in the first serious exchange and its culmination, between Magda and Arthur when her acting Voice finally lets go with a boom, and surges Arthur to utter his first speaking part in the plot, cancelling his prior grunting/muttering mode. Each time Magda turns her spyglass inward, to ferret foibles or vulnerability in ¿after-the-purge¿ scenes, she refreshes the reader with slips of warmth and generosities of spirit extended to some of her story mates. What her sarcastic edge might secret is that she loves her people and they love her, and the snipping wit is taken as moxie, charisma, a ¿presence¿ worthy of a great actress.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2001

    Surprisingly delicous

    When I first started to read the summary on the back, it didn't seem like much. But I peeked into the pages and I was caught in it. With laughter and a smile, I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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