by Daniel Penner
I found something worth sharing on Monday night during a round of John D. Roth’s “Show and tell from the MHL” (Mennonite Historical Library). It may, at first glance, look like a simple list of book titles, but it is really much more than that: it is a list of Pennsylvania Dutch Murder Mystery/Recipe books. Yeah, you read that right. I couldn’t have made it up if I tried.
Tamar Myers, author extraordinaire, has changed up the game on recipe books. Not only is it enough to cook a meal, but afterward, with a full stomach, you can throw on your Snuggie, and curl up with Pennsylvania Dutch drama.
Here are just a few of the many books in the series:
- The Crepes of Wrath
- As the World Churns
- Batter off Dead
- Play it Again, Spam
- Eat Drink and be Wary
- Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Crime
- Assault and Pepper
- Hell Hath No Curry
- Gruel and Unusual Punishment
Here is a review from Booklist for Batter off Dead:
If you enjoy cozies with unrelenting slapstick humor, the Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries are your cup of tea. This is the seventeenth entry in the series that Myers began writing in 1994. Longtime fans should know exactly what to expect, while those trying a Pennsylvania Dutch mystery for the first time might hope for more mystery and a bit less humor. This time out, our 48-year-old sleuth Magdalena Portulaca Yoder is assisting at the annual Beechy Grove Mennonite Church’s pancake breakfast. Local glutton Minerva J. Jay has just finished stacks and stacks of pancakes when she drops dead…
… and it goes on.
I wish I had been as perceptive as Ms. Myers in using puns to sell books, but regrettably she, not I, is the one with the market cornered on Pennsylvania Dutch Murder Mystery/Recipe books. At least someone has written these – a true gift to the world indeed.