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Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death: A…

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery

by Mark Reutlinger

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I really enjoyed Mrs Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death. This is the first book in the Mrs Kaplan Mystery series by Mark Reutlinger.

Mrs Rose Kaplan and Mrs Ida Berkowitz, friends for over 20 years, live
at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors. Ida is the narrator of the book. I like Ida's "voice." I could hear it in my head as I read.

Mrs K is a fan of mystery books, especially Sherlock Holmes mysteries. She is also the Home's best matzoh ball maker, so she had the honor of making the matzoh ball soup for Pesach (Passover). To keep her winning recipe a secret, she was alone in the kitchen, of course.

During the Pesach meal, one of the Home's residents, Mrs Finkelstein, was discovered dead, face-down in her soup bowl. It seems Mrs Finkelstein choked on an earring stolen from another resident -- an earring that must have been in the soup prepared by Mrs Kaplan!

Mrs K is immediately the main suspect in the eyes of the Home's general manager, who turns the matter over to the police. Knowing that the police also believe she stole the earrings and caused Mrs Finkelstein's death, Mrs K quickly begins sleuthing. She eventually solves the case, with the aid of Ida and a rather unusual helper.

While exonerating herself from the theft/death charges, Mrs K finds time to help her fellow residents with a couple of problems. She helps Sol and Lily with a little marriage counseling, of sorts. A friend's daughter is involved with a man who's bad news, and Mrs K finds a way to un-involve him.

Mrs K is fun to read about. I like her spirit, her chutzpah. I like the way the book ends, with even the police detective comparing Mrs K to Sherlock Holmes. I look forward to reading the next Mrs Kaplan Mystery, A Pain in the Tuchis.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Mrs Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own. ( )
  Jane.Reads | Jun 29, 2017 |
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That in no way changes my opinion of this book.

Rose Kaplan and her friend, Ida, live at the Julius & Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors. This book reminds me of Shady Pines from “Golden Girls”, but a lot more fun and definitely more interesting characters and events. In fact, this book reminds me a lot of “Golden Girls” (that is a wonderful thing- I love that show), with the bond between the two main characters.

Every year before Passover, they have a “friendly” competition as to which resident can make the best matzoh ball soup, and those are the ones that are served to all the residents for Seder. Almost every year, Rose wins the competition, and this year is no different. However, what happens at Seder is definitely not usual.
During Seder, a fellow resident, Bertha, is found face down in the matzoh ball soup, and Rose is the main suspect. Why? Because Bertha choked and died while eating the soup, because of swallowing a diamond earring. And since Rose was the only one in the kitchen while the soup was prepared and dished out, she is the most likely suspect. No matter what Rose and Ida tries to tell those that run the home, or the 2 detectives that show up, they are convinced she is somehow involved.

Rose and Ida are determined to find the real culprit and clear Rose’s name of all wrong-doing. But, at what cost is she willing to do so? With a little help from out-side sources, Rose is ready, willing, and mostly able, to investigate this murder mystery for herself, and clear herself of all charges, once and for all. But is she successful?
( )
  annmwilson09 | Aug 9, 2016 |
This detective story is firmly aimed at the Jewish market as there are many Yiddish expressions and Jewish references, all of which are explained but the reader is expected to then remember what they all mean.

It takes place inside a retirement home for Jewish Seniors and involves the detective work of Mrs Kaplan and the narrator to find out who killed one of the residents.

The writing is simple, no frills or literary style. The plot is quite entertaining and engaging.

For fans of M C Beaton and similar detective stories.
( )
  PaulAllard | Dec 9, 2015 |
A new cozy mystery series I think I'm going to love!

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger is a 2014 Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This first book in an all new cozy mystery series features Rose Kaplan and her very good friend, Ida, two senior citizens residing at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen home for Jewish Seniors.

Rose makes the best Matzoh ball soup in the world, so after winning a contest, she is allowed to make her infamous soup for seder, the first night of Passover.

But, things go horribly awry when someone falls face first into the soup and is pronounced dead at the scene. Rose is relieved beyond measure to learn her cooking hadn't killed anyone, but it would seem she is still a person of interest, because what did kill the poor woman was found in Rose's soup. So, the question is how did it get there if Rose didn't put it there?

So before Rose winds up in jail for crime she didn't commit, she and Ida must determine what really happened.

I do believe I have found a new cozy series to follow. Told from Ida's first person perspective, these ladies had me in stitches. Seniors they may be, but they are sharp, alert and observant. The home is a boiling pot of gossip and secrets so it will take a some unconventional methods for Rose and Ida to solve the case.

I was fascinated by the vernacular and intonations and expressions used, with authentic Yiddish language included in some of the dialogue, adding another level of enjoyment to the story for me.

The dialogue was snappy and sparked with wit and humor, the characters were well drawn and developed, the pacing was steady, and the character driven plot kept me engaged, and puzzling over the red herrings, but mainly I was just entertained by this story and actually laughed out loud a few times.

There were some moments where things got a little too far fetched, but with a cozy mystery I think a little elbow room is required at times, especially when writing about senior amateur sleuths, who are limited to what they can plausible accomplish while living in an assisted living home.

Rose cleverly outsmarted the detectives on the case, which caused some embarrassment for them, but also garnered Rose a little respect too. I've got the next book queued up and ready to read and can't wait to see what happens next.

Overall, this well written mystery was a very satisfying read and I had a lot of fun with it. I think this series is going to be a keeper.

4 stars. ( )
  gpangel | Sep 10, 2015 |
A charming and funny first mystery featuring a lady and her friend living in a Jewish Retirement home. It is not a good thing when your matzoh balls are renown, to have one your fellow residents die eating them. Mrs. Kaplan and Ida set out to solve this mystery as well as the theft of a diamond earring. I think if this is the first in a series, it will be a good series to follow.
Read from NetGalley. ( )
  librarian1204 | Jan 12, 2015 |
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