- Series: Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery (Book 8)
- Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Signet (March 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451197550
- ISBN-13: 978-0451197559
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hand That Rocks the Ladle (A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery with Recipes) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2000
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"As sweet as a piece of brown-sugar pie... Magdalena is so likable". -- Booklist
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This plot is so tangled and the characters so shallow I wonder how it was ever published. Here's why I say this ...
The first chapter of the book says it's October, but later on, in several chapters, Magadalena Yoder, owner of the PennDutch Inn and the main character, says it's July. Which is it? It's never clear.
Magadelena is Mennonite descended from Amish, but in a scene when she meets up with two Amish children she answers them in English when they address her in Pennsylvania Dutch, which she speaks. And the children's grandfather refers to her as "English" their term for all outsiders.
The woman lives in the community. Her family is Amish and she's a practicing Mennonite. It doesn't make sense for her to be referred to as "English."
Magdalena's character is annoying. The woman is supposed to be 45 years old, yet she constantly addresses people as 'dear'. "Well, dear, it must be something you said." "Yours is a beautiful name, dear." "So, dear, what do you know about this Hemmy person?"
Cut me a break! The only people I know who address people as 'dear' are either bad waitresses or really old ladies. When a 45 year old talks to people this way, it's downright stupid.
But the clincher is that Magadelena figures out 'who done it' because the character uses the words 'rubber band' instead of the Pittsburgh slang term 'gum band'. This proves the character couldn't possibly from Pittsburgh as claimed.
I am a born and bred Pittsburgher and haven't used 'gum band' since I was 8. Would that be a clue that I'm not who I say I am? For Tamar Myers it is.
Take your chances, but I thought this book was a complete waste of time and money. The editor should have been able to catch the numerous discrepancies and mistakes. I wonder if it was ever read in its entirety.
At first everything seems to be allright, the guests all pitch in (except for the Doctor), and look after themselves. But when Barbara only has two boys come out of her, and not the third one who surely will be a daughter, a granddaughter for Freni who will share her name, Freni is terribly upset. And she blames the hospital staff for loosing her grandchild. Magdalena has no choice but to promise her she will look into it. Surely it must have been a medical mistake made by Dr. Pierce who told them she was pregnant with triplets. But when some of the stories don't add up, she knows there is more. Especially if some Amish lady is pregnant as well, and she finds out they are giving away their child to God. There has to be something fishy about that!
Magdalena also gets a surprise gift from her would-be boyfriend, the handsome Doctor Rosen, and she is quite taken with it. She has to "cure" her sister from being like a normal housewife, and to go back to her own flaky self, and they even have to work together for a while, when they discover a dead body.
I did like the mystery part a lot, and Magdalena gets into even more scrapes in this book. Getting assaulted by a woman with a shovel in a store, accused of trying to steal her man. Of course her brother-in-law still tries to arrest her for being in the wrong place at the wrong time Magdalena manages to keep out of any real trouble.
I am looking forward to the next book, and what will happen with Magdalena and her neighbours and family.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian
Full review on my blog, [...]
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