NAL, Jan 2001, 19.99, 240 pp.
In Hernia, Pennsylvania, lives large Amish and Mennonite populations with tourists from around the world converging on the small area. Most visitors stay at the Penn-Dutch Inn run by Magdalena Yoder, a keen businessperson who has managed to turn a failing farm into a profit making enterprise. Magdalena has also an uncanny ability to solve homicide cases.
Her brother-in-law, the local police chief, asks Magdalena to help him solve the murder of Lizzie Mast, a devout Mennonite married to a Viet Nam veteran. Lizzie died from an overdose of Angel Dust. Apparently, just before she died, Lizzie received a threatening note that the postmaster saw. However, a hit and run driver deliberately kills the postmaster. Magdalena learns that some local teens are experimenting with illegal drugs and concludes that their supplier provided the Angel Dust to Lizzie. Magdalena must identify the seller in order to stop more deaths form occurring.
Every book that Tamar Myers writes in her wonderful “Pennsylvania Dutch with recipes” series contains much humor and insight. However, the current tale, THE CREPES OF WRATH, is just plain funny while providing even more understanding of the communities than the strong previous entries. The witty repartees and double entendres allow readers to feel good even while murder and drugs serve as the focus of the mystery. The characters are likable while the mystery is well drawn and executed. On a scale from one to five, this regional amateur sleuth novel is a ten.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner