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    Review of THOU SHALT NOT GRILL by Tamar Myers (see her website)


    New American Library, February 2004

    Magdalena Yoder is pleased that her bed and breakfast is filled--and even more pleased that she's been able to sucker some of her guests into paying extra to help with the chores, but one of the guests is a jokester--with whoopie cushions, faked dead bodies, and handshake zappers. It's annoying to everyone--but is it annoying enough for someone to kill her. Because she gets a late night call from her brother-in-law, Hernia's (that's the city she lives in) cop. The guest has been killed and Melvin is much too busy running for office to solve the crime. It's up to Yoder to uncover the secrets, win the pig-chasing contest, and generally make sure that all of the proprieties are followed.

    She doesn't want to believe it at first, but the evidence starts to point at her own guests. All of them seem to have a connection to Hernia--and to the legend of the treasure that is rumored to be hidden somewhere in the town. Yoder chases after legends, squabbles with her fellow townspeople, and battles with her fiance and his mother on her way toward solving the crime.

    Author Tamar Myers creates a memorable character in Magdalena Yoder. With her bossyness and greed, she might not be the most sympathetic heroine out there, but she is funny, different, and honest. The Pennsylvania Dutch setting (Yoder is Mennonite) provides a unique atmosphere that pokes gentle fun at the religiously up-tight.

    The setting and the characters are really the keys to this short mystery. But, although the mystery itself is a few clues short of convincing, Myers does enough with the characters to make THOU SHALT NOT GRILL well worth the read. And you've got to love those titles.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 3/30/04

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