Friday, December 12, 2014

REVIEW: Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death

Mrs. Kaplan & the Matzoh Ball of Death
Mark Reutlinger

Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Women Sleuth
Publisher: Alibi
Publication date: 11.18.2014
Pages: 170

Recommended by: NetGalley, Read 2 Review
Date read: 12.6.2014

Summary: 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 & 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 message 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.

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death.  Mrs. Kaplan and THE MATZOH BALL ... OF DEATH.  HOW could I not want to read this?!?!  Really?!  

Now, take a second.  Scroll to the top and look at the cover.  Specifically: the bowl of soup.  See that one matzoh ball? Yeeeeeah.  See?  Hooked.  HAD to read.

Rose Kaplan lives at the Julius & Rebecca Cohen home for Jewish Seniors.  It's almost Passover and, as usual, they have a competition to find out who has the best matzoh ball soup - and that person gets to be the person who makes the soup for everyone to eat at their seder.  When Bertha is found dead facedown in a bowl of Rose's amazing soup, she's the one they look at as the main suspect.  Her, and her best friend, Ida, can't let that happen, so they decide to investigate the murder themselves.

Rose and Ida are awesome.  I can't say they're "typical" Jewish "old ladies" because I've only actually met two, but they are EXACTLY like the two that I have met.  They have all the yiddish words that crack me up and they are just awesome.  I love them - VERY well done - and the additional characters in the story are a lot of fun too.

One of the great things about the story is that there are a few side things going on, which make Rose and Ida that much more real.

Another great thing about the story is where they live.  First there's Shady Pines and NOW there's the Julius & Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors.  This place is great and there are a lot of really great people living here, and a lot of interesting things happening.

I liked this book so much, I handed it to my mother (who is a picker-aparter) and told HERE to read it :)

Mr Reutlinger, I do have one request - that you share Mrs. Kaplan's totally awesome matzoh ball soup recipe.  I may not be Jewish, but that stuff is delicious - and it's great when you're sick.  I could use a good recipe :)

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