Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: funny and appropriate
A crime to sink your teeth into.
After discovering that her husband was a bigamist, and having a tornado destroy her Amish country inn, Magdalena Yoder thought it couldn’t get much worse. But it has – her own sister has agreed to marry Magdalena’s sworn enemy, the dim-witted police chief. She’s busy enough as it is – putting the PennDutch back on its feet, catering to a group of visiting veterans … and finding new ways to use Spam® in the inn’s simple country cuisine. But now one of her guests is missing – and with the police chief stuck on cloud nine with her sister, it’s up to Magdalena to solve the mystery in time for a piece of wedding cake!
When I was young, Spam® was one of my favourite things. My father used to slice it, and then bake it in the frying pan, and then you put it on a slice of bread. Of course it is fat, but for a child, it was tasty. We did not get it very often, but it was cheap and easy to make. So reading a book filled with Spam® recipes is funny.
The PennDutch Inn was destroyed by a tornado, but Magdalena had it rebuild exactly like it was, steep stairs and everything. Unfortunately, being out of business for a few months cost her her famous and important clients, who found other avenues of relaxation. So when a few veterans and their wives want to stay at her Inn, she is happy with some paying guests. Even though it is against her Methodist and Amish peaceloving beliefs to condone soldiers in her house. Telling herself they are retired makes the decision much easier. But now she will need Freni back as cook to take care of her guests.
Freni is busy preparing herself to deal with the triplets her daughter in law is pregnant with, and does not really want to come back to the PennDutch, but Barbara is getting tired of Freni and makes her go back. But perhaps she is not needed at all, as Magdalena seems to have gotten herself another suitor! A nice Amish man by the name of Strubbly Sam. He knows how to cook, and to be a butler, and she really enjoys having him around, even though she denies that of course.
Magdalena’s sister is finally getting married to Melvin Stolzfuss, the local sheriff (and an utter idiot). When one of her guests go missing, as well as the oldest woman in the parish, he immediately accuses her of wrongdoing. But this time he confesses to do that only to make her solve the case for him.
Another couple of guests are a retired history professor, and a concert piano player. A strange couple, who don’t seem to have much in common or even like each other. Especially when the woman confides in Magdalena that she thinks her husband an international spy!
One couple of guests bring a can of Spam® with them, as they heard Amish cooking was very heavy, and want Magdalena to use it in the dishes she serves. To her surprise, Freni likes the stuff and agrees to it. At dinner, her guests relate old war stories to her, of traitors and torture and captivity, and how they want to find one of the worst traitors. Is that why they have come to her neck of the woods and pay her exorbitant prices? Do they really believe to find him here, amongst the Amish?
And so Magdalena is very busy, finding her missing guest and her missing neighbour, getting ready for the marriage of her sister Susannah, and even having two men liking her! The other being a Jewish doctor who intends to buy the old Miller farm next door!
I enjoyed this story, and read it in record time. I never did guess the mystery, and it was fun to find out about the personal history of her ancient neighbour, and also a bit suspenseful. Who is who? If you want to read this series, I do recommend to read it in order, but it is not necessary, as enough background information is given throughout the story. Still, I like to be able to read the character growth and whatever happens in their lives in cozy mysteries.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian