Friday, January 8, 2010

Butter Safe Than Sorry-Tamar Myers

Butter Safe Than Sorry
Tamar Myers
Obsidian, Feb 2010, $1400
ISBN: 9780451229106

Magdalena Yoder Rosen is an original in her Amish town where most of the people try to blend in. She is married to a Jewish doctor, is a conservative Mennonite, and owns the Penn-Dutch Inn where the rich and famous stay. Besides being loudmouthed, her sister Susannah is doing twenty years as an accessory to murder and her brother-in-law Melvin the former police chief is a killer on the run.

Magdalena Yoder is in the bank with her four year old son Jacob when three Amish men burst inside to rob the place. One of the thieves uses employee Amy Neubruder as a hostage as they flee the crime scene. Magdalena Yoder wonders why the security guards did nothing while also hearing the bank president telling Amy to keep silent about the robbery and he will give her a raise and a new position. Not long afterward, Amy is killed and Magdalena Yoder’s sister asks her to come see her. Susannah warns Magdalena Yoder to watch herself as Melvin is in the area and loathes her and anyone she cares about. Magdalena Yoder believes Melvin, murder and robbery go together and fearing for her observant son, she investigates.

Tamar Myers weaves her usual magic with her latest Pennsylvania Dutch amateur sleuth (see Batter Off Dead) as local trouble is escalating. There are many suspects in this enjoyable cozy leading to the heroine struggling with figuring out who is protecting Melvin as she is positive he is behind everything. Butter Safe Than Sorry relies on its strong Amish cast who makes the whodunit work.

Harriet Klausner