Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger – Review + Giveaway

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger - Review + Giveaway

I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger – Review + GiveawayMrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death on November 18, 2014
Pages: 188
Format: eARC
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two-half-stars

Move over, Miss Marple — Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.

Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.

But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to think when I first started reading Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger. The story is set in a Jewish senior living community. While the mystery plot was interesting, and I liked the characters of Ida and Rose, I felt like I couldn’t really get into the story as much as I wanted. I’m not sure if this is because of the constant use of Jewish terms/slang/phrases that I had no idea what they meant, or the somewhat repetitive way that Ida told the story. I think I might have liked it more if Rose would have been telling her own story. I teetered between giving this one 2 – 3 stars and settled on 2.5, simply because I did not get so many of the references made.

That being said…I think I would have really enjoyed the story if there were less Jewish references that are not commonly known. A couple of the references, my Kindle dictionary was able to explain, but not the majority of them. I did not want to stop reading and go to the computer to look up what these words and phrases meant, so I ended up feeling a little lost. The story does have a fun plot, interesting characters and a good mystery. It was just a bit muddled for me.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I never noticed any problems following the commentary in the blurb. But then again I’m from Brooklyn and attended Hebrew Religious Day School for 6 years.

    Most stories told by someone from our culture do tend to ramble in their speech and story telling, along with lots of sidetrips along the way. Our Rabbi will start his “Drasha” (sermon) on a single point and then come back at it from 4 different angles. Just to be sure he’s hammered his point sufficiently into our heads.

    1. Hi Nora-Adrienne! Thanks for your comments. 🙂 Yes, there isn’t really any hint of it in the blurb. In reading the book though, there are sometimes several italicized words that I have never heard of, don’t know the meaning and usually couldn’t pronounce. Sometimes they were explained, sometimes not. It’s just different and definitely not something I’m used to, since it isn’t a part of the culture I’ve grown up with. Thank you for your insight! I did enjoy the mystery aspect of the story.

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