Monday, April 7

Hell Hath No Curry - Tamar Myers

Mennonite hotel owner Magdalena Yoder's not unaccustomed to coming across dead bodies in her small Pennsylvanian town, and she's managed to solve a few murders in her time, so she's not as surprised as you might expect when Sargent Ackerman tapped at her front door and announced that the town's most eligible (and philandering) bachelor has been found dead. Of course, the fact that it had happened while he was... doing the two-sheet tango with the town's Chief of Police was a little surprising. But working out which of the many women Cornelius Weaver dallied with actually spiked his curry with a stimulant that brought about his heart attack is anyone's guess.
This is the fifteenth PennDutch mystery and even though it's been several years since I read one (and I must have skipped a couple as well) I found the tone of the book a little irritating - Magdalena, after a life time of thinking she's plain (and I've always pictured her as a lean, handsome woman) discovers, after a chance meeting with an old school friend, that she's really beautiful, and this keeps being harped on in a way I found, as I've said, profoundly irritating.
That said, there are a few humorous moments, a couple of groan-worthy puns, and a fast-paced plot. I'm interested in the Mennonite and Amish faiths, and like a good cosy mystery from time to time. There is, of course, the Murder She Wrote factor of so many murders in such a small town, but if you can get past that this series is quite good - though the earlier installments were better (or maybe I was just younger and less discriminating). - Alex

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