Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery
1st in Series
Alibi (November 18, 2014)
Random House LLC
Print Length: 171 pages
Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut, the short novel Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death, introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.
Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.
But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.
This is my November Just For Fun Read. Rose Kaplan knows her matzoh balls and when she is accused of adding something extra to her soup to kill another resident at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors she appalled. Together with her friend Ida they decide to solve the case themselves.
Ida tells the story of Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death. Her tale includes details about Jewish holidays and tradition plus is peppered with plenty of Yiddish words. I knew some but thankfully the author includes translation.
The mystery is fun and full of humor and drama. Rose and Ida go to great lengths to find the guilty parties and take much delight explaining to the police officers their findings and how the police missed obvious clues.
The Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors is quite a place with a variety of interesting residents. A great setting for a whole slew of mysteries.
A Pain in the Tuchis:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (November 17, 2015)
Random House LLC
Print Length: 174 pages
Combining the classic charms of Agatha Christie with the delightful humor of M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels, Mark Reutlinger’s Mrs. Kaplan mystery series returns as a notorious crank meets an untimely fate.
Yom Kippur is a day of reflection and soul searching. But at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors, Vera Gold misses this opportunity to atone for her many sins when she up and dies. Indeed, Vera was such a pain in the tuchis to all those around her that when her sister claims Vera was deliberately poisoned, the tough question isn’t who would want to kill her—but who wouldn’t?
Having already solved one murder with her dear friend Ida, Rose Kaplan has a sleuthing reputation that precedes her. It’s only natural that Vera’s sister turns to Mrs. K for help. So do the police, but when her conclusions conflict with theirs, they tell her to butt out! This case has more twists than a loaf of challah. And with a homicidal scoundrel on the loose, Mrs. K has to act fast—or she might be the guest of honor at the Home’s next memorial service.
We return to the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors for another adventure with Rose and Ida. The Pain in the Tuchis happens to be Vera Gold, she was very nice so the suspects of those wanting to get rid of her could be many. At first her death appeared accidental but her sister begs Rose to investigate. Even after the police tell her to butt out Rose just can’t let go and again she schools the officers.
Rose just has a way of figuring things out and she holds her cards close to her chest. Ida is just along for the ride and acts as Rose’s sounding board. She does tell a good story or as much as Rose allows her to tell.
Again the story as plenty of Yiddish idioms and a good bit of humor. The mystery itself had its fair share of twists but I had an inkling of where we were headed and I was right.
A quick entertaining read.
About This Author
Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novels Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death and Made in China. A professor of law emeritus at Seattle University, Reutlinger was born in San Francisco, graduated from UC Berkeley, and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington.
Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246840/a-pain-in-the-tuchis-by-mark-reutlinger/
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”