Title: Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death (A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery #1)
Author: Mark Reutlinger
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut 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. Advance praise for Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death “Is there kosher food in jail? These two heroines have gotten themselves in quite a pickle! Well, it’s a matzoh ball mess, really. Too deliciously funny!”—Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of Nine Lives to Die
Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup and has just won a contest to prove it. So, the local seniors home ask her to make her famous soup for this year’s seder. Rose agrees and makes her best batch but when Bertha Finkelstein is found face-down in the soup, it’s a recipe for murder. Rose finds herself as #1 suspect on the police’s radar. To clear her name and the reputation of her soup, she teams up with her friend, Ida, to solve Bertha’s murder. Can Rose uncover the murderer before she becomes a permanent resident behind bars?
Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death is a fun cozy mystery complete with a cast of eccentric characters. The characters are very Jewish with plenty of delicious humor to put a smile on any reader’s face. The plot moves at a nice slow pace. I did find myself solving the murder very early in the mystery. This was unexpected but the more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of a certain detective in a rumpled trench coat. The antics of Rose and Ida had me clutching my sides as I laughed out loud. A hilarious cozy I enjoyed. Fans of Rita Mae Brown and Peter Falk mysteries will love this book.
My Rating: 4 stars
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MARK REUTLINGER, Professor of Law Emeritus at Seattle University, writes both cozy mysteries and political thrillers (under his own name and as M. R. Morgan). He and his wife, Analee, live in University Place, Washington.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N