Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth
Author: Tamar Myers
Signet, 1995
246 pages

I don't know when the "food cozy" mysteries started, but this is one of the oldest I've come across. Magdalena Yoder is a fortyish, never married innkeeper of the Penn-Dutch bed-and-breakfast in Hernia, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country. Unlike her younger tarty sister Susannah, "Mags" has traditional values, and is the more responsible of the two. Of course, there is a mysterious death - actually, two mysterious deaths - and suspicion on Mags, her hired help, and her mostly disagreeable citified guests: a handsome but not-so-nice Congressman, his dutiful wife, his ambitious assistant, and four animal rights advocates.

I found myself laughing out loud at several folksy parts, yet rolling my eyes at others. Still, it was a quick read, and for the most part, enjoyable. The best part? Probably the recipes interspersed with the story. Of course, this also occurs with most of the other cozies I've read recently . . . but the recipes in Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth (e.g., chicken and dumplings, a no-bake cookie, and a broiled banana dish that sounded simple and delicious) I actually might try. I'd go make the banana recipe right now, but I don't have any brown sugar.