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?
read an excerpt...
“Is this what you call a ‘gay bar’?” Mrs. K asked Mr. Andrews.
“Of course it is,” he began, as if we were a couple of shlemiels, but then he stopped and just looked from one of us to the other, in an embarrassed way.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Didn’t you ladies know? I mean, it’s been written up in the paper and all.…”
“Yes, I am sure it has, but we don’t always read the paper, or that part of the paper where these things are mentioned. But please don’t worry about it. It was just a bit of a surprise to realize what you were asking us.”
“Isn’t it interesting, Ida,” Mrs. K said as she put down her tea cup. “For all I know, we are the only Jewish people in here. And I can see we are the only people our age. In some people’s minds, with their prejudices, that makes us somehow different. In this restaurant, apparently it is only our not having a ‘relationship’ that makes us different. And yet really we are all the same, all just people, are we not?”
I nodded. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but of course she was right. It’s a funny world.
Sometimes people really are a pain in the patootie, aren’t they? No matter how much you try, you’d like to shut them out. Well, someone shut out Vera Gold by killing her, and once again Mrs. Kaplan and Ida are on the trail of the criminal. At least on the trail as far as the nursing home will let them go.
This is the 3rd book I have read written by Mark Reutlinger. They are all funny and easy to read. His main characters are Jewish Seniors. They are funny, and it’s like reading the jokes about older adults you see on FB, but...this time there were a lot of terms that I didn’t know (with no definition next to them). I am assuming they are Jewish or Yiddish words, even colloquialisms. I don’t think this makes the book bad. I enjoyed the cozy. However, I do think it limits Mr. Reutlinger’s audience.
about Mark Reutlinger...
Mark Reutlinger, Professor of Law Emeritus at Seattle University, is the author of the “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (which includes, in addition to A Pain in the Tuchis, Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death and Oy Vey, Maria!) and the caper mystery Murder with Strings Attached, as well as the political thrillers Made in China and (under the pseudonym M. R. Morgan) Sister-in-Law: Violation, Seduction, and the President of the United States. Mark and his wife, Analee, live in University Place, Washington.
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