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When a guest takes a fatal fall down the PennDutch Inn's quaintly steep stairs, Magdalena Yoder, the no-nonsense owner, is more worried about a lawsuit than foul play. But when a second guest is found dead on Magdalena's handsome quilt, she's sure there's a killer somewhere on the premises. This first book in a new series includes authentic Pennsylvania-Dutch recipes. Original.
Posted April 22, 2012
Magdalena Yoder runs the PennDutch Inn in Hernia, PA and is related to almost everyone in town, either close, distant, or once removed, etc. Her sister Susannah, who left the Mennonites to marry but is now divorced, lives at the Inn but is very undependable, lazy, and sleeps around. Their parents died in an accident and Magdalena and Susannah are the only ones left in their immediate family.
It is the beginning of deer hunting season and they are looking at having a full house, so full that when Miss Brown shows up Susannah has to clean her room so Miss Brown can have that room. A Congressman, his wife Lydia and his aide are expected as are several members of A.P.E.S. (the Animal Parity Endowment Society). Billy Dee Grizzle and Lydia Ream are the nicest of the guests, Miss Brown wants to be left alone, even for meals, and the rest are just strange. The A.P.E.S group is vegan, the Congresman's group and Billy Dee want meat, so this causes problems with Freni, the cook and she ends up quitting and being fired several times.
The first night dinner is quite the scene but once every one is in bed, someone hears a thump and Miss Brown is discovered in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. The police are called and the body is taken away so they can do an autopsy. A couple of days later, after Magdalena gets shot at a couple of times, Susannah's dog Shnookums chokes but Magdalena saves him, the hunters have left the Inn each day (if that's what they're actually doing) and the A.P.E.S. group have spent their time looking for the Congressman's group to try and prevent them from hunting, (they never do find them), one of the other guests is discovered dead with her hand gripping a homemade quilt. Susannah discovers her as she is looking for Shnookums pacifier.
Now with two deaths, looking more and more like murders happening in her Inn what will happen? Will people still want to come, looking at the reputation she's had up until now, or will they decide it's not the kind of place they want to stay at?
Don't judge this book by it's title, the Mennonites are not anything like you'd expect. Magdalena's brain seems to be thinking strange thoughts constantly, it's kind of funny some of the things she thinks to herself. There are some curse words, which really surprised me, not a lot and not 'filthy' ones but if you don't like reading these words, I would suggest you not read this book. If you like cozy mystery's you'd probably really like this.
Posted April 20, 2009
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I like a good cozy mystery as well as the next person, but I really take issue with a character who disparages and sneers at the customers who give her a livelihood.
Worrying more about some quilt than a person who has died is just cold and heartless.
I didn't finish this book.
Read Diane Mott Davidson or Joanne Fluke instead.
Posted March 19, 2006
Susannah¿s screaming at a corpse on a quilt in the opening scene was an effective capture. The plot time regression, backtracking from ¿murder-up-page-one,¿ trailing events and road-forks which may have contributed to the murder, was a narrative technique of literary lace. The quilt was Amish and it had been spread, somehow wrongly, across a bed in the PenDutch Inn. Magdalena¿s detailing the difference between a murdered corpse and a ¿normal¿ dead body was an intriguing way to surge depth and reality onto the stage. As she will do throughout the series, Magdalena Yoder comes grumbling to the rescue. There¿s a lot to do to clean up a murder or two, not to mention catering to a full house of high brow guests paying hefty prices and expecting the best, even within Magda¿s ALPO ambiance. ALPO, of course, is the Amish Lifestyle Plan Option at the Inn, which avails guests of a trip into the cultural snootiness of choosing to clean their own rooms and common areas. My curiosity peaks to uncover how and why each guest decides to handle (or not) the broom. ALPO is such a deal for discriminating character nuance with a single sweep. I enjoyed observing the evolution of Magda¿s narrative style in this pilot to such an auspicious, long-running series. I had to remind myself that at the point of writing and publishing this novel, Amish mysteries had not yet had the foundation which Tamar Myers brought to this amateur sleuth repertoire. I enjoyed the way Myers toyed with the bright/dark balance within each character, including herself. No one was offered a free ride outside the box of the PenDutch¿s sensitive, sagely satiric pen. Nothing was left wondering here, except, if you had read this pilot prior to the publication of 13 or so sequels, you¿d be not wondering if, but begging that Myers would cough up more and more PenDutch ambiance, to slide more cooks into the stew. That phenomenal publication story indeed has a good (never) ending, as Myers is still penning plush and posh.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2001
Tamar Myers is a genius! She is able to capture not only the true spirit of the Amish and Mennonite life still but she puts a wonderful twist on a facinating lifestyle by throwing in a really well written murder case. Her main character, Magdelena Yoder ( a common name here in Amish country) is someone any woman can identify with, holding down an household, making ends meet and dealing with crazy relatives and friends. Plus add the smarts and desire to find out the truth and you have one heck of a woman! This book hooked me from the start and I have been furiously tearing through the rest of the fantasic stories with Magdalena. It's a good thing Tamar Myers also has another series in publication, because she can't write these ones fast enough for me.Great way to spend a cozy evening at home.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2010
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