Books by Tamar Myers

Tamar Myers, who is of Mennonite background, is the author of the Pennsylvania Dutch mysteries and the Den of Antiquity series. She grew up in the Belgian Congo, where her parents were missionaries.


PUDDIN' ON THE BLITZ by Tamar Myers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 3, 2019

"As usual, the mystery plays second fiddle in an over-the-top tale laced with sarcasm and malapropisms."
More murder among the Amish and Mennonites, who live in what must be among the most homicide-prone communities in America. Read full book review >
TEA WITH JAM AND DREAD by Tamar Myers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2016

"Sarcasm and wacky humor overwhelm the underwhelming mystery in Magdalena's ninth (The Death of Pie, 2014, etc.)."
Downton Abbey meets the Penn Dutch Inn. Read full book review >
THE DEATH OF PIE by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 2014

The maven of Mennonite mysteries is at it again.

Magdalena Yoder Rosen is the wealthiest woman in Hernia, Pennsylvania, and she likes to poke her long nose into every remotely interesting corner of the area. She's delighted when the new sheriff she's hired and whose salary she pays (along with every other town expense) asks her help in finding the murderer of beautiful novelist Ramat Sreym. Even after writing a best-seller insulting just about everyone in the local Amish and Mennonite communities, Ramat was invited back to judge the local pie contest, where she inconveniently dropped dead in Magdalena's apple pie. Unfortunately, the list of suspects includes Mother Malaise, the Yiddishe momme of Magdalena's husband, and two of her cronies. What to do? Magdalena cobbles together a faux police uniform, jumps in the town police car, and sets out to interview the suspects, a process that leads to alienating friends, promoting a romance and getting accused of the dirty deed herself.

There is precious little mystery in this rambling, repetitive tale, which is far from Myers' best work (As The World Churns, 2008, etc.). Magdalena may be smart and amusing, but her atrocious alliterative amalgamations will alienate many a reader. Read full book review >
THE GIRL WHO MARRIED AN EAGLE by Tamar Myers
Released: April 30, 2013

"Engrossing and educational."
An artful combination of cultural anthropology and fiction. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO STOLE THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS by Tamar Myers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 8, 2012

"This third in the series (The Headhunter's Daughter, 2011, etc.), based on Myers' life as the child of missionaries in the Belgian Congo, is not a mystery in the traditional sense. But it provides a fascinating look at life in a colonial Africa on the brink of catastrophic change as the wily Cripple manipulates her self-anointed betters."
The Belgian Congo of 1958, facing enormous social changes as colonial rule is nearing an end, is challenged by more intimate disruption. Read full book review >
THE HEADHUNTER'S DAUGHTER by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 25, 2011

"The second in Myers' new series (The Witch Doctor's Wife, 2009) hides the Mastermind's identity well. But it's best read for the evocative descriptions of life in the Congo, where the author grew up, and the skillful portrayal of the vast disconnect between the white and black inhabitants."
The closer the Belgian Congo comes to independence in 1958, the more dangerous it becomes for the white population. Read full book review >
THE WITCH DOCTOR’S WIFE by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

"A radical but welcome departure for Myers (As the World Churns, 2008, etc.). Fans of Alexander McCall Smith may well find Cripple as delightful as Precious Ramotswe."
A tale of wildly clashing cultures in the Belgian Congo. Read full book review >
AS THE WORLD CHURNS by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 5, 2008

"Fans of the clever, sarcastic, engaging Magdalena will doubtless find this adventure just as rollicking as all her others (Hell Hath No Curry, 2006, etc.), even if they're hard-pressed to find much mystery."
A fast-talking Mennonite innkeeper's latest scheme for publicizing her inn puts her loved ones in danger. Read full book review >
HELL HATH NO CURRY by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 6, 2007

"A masterful Mennonite mystery marred only by curry recipes that don't seem right for Hernia."
More mirthful murder for Mennonite Magdalena Yoder, the leading citizen of Hernia, Penn. (Grape Expectations, 2006, etc.). Read full book review >
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

"Acidulous Magdalena's fans will doubtless enjoy another of her tongue-in-cheek adventures amid The Plain People. But the mystery is meager, and kitchen divas should be warned that the obligatory recipes specify (gasp!) several prepackaged ingredients."
A plan to create a winery in the bone-dry Mennonite hamlet of Hernia, Pa., provides a motive for murder. Read full book review >
ASSAULT AND PEPPER by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"A silly plot and forced humor spiced by distinctions between the Amish and the Mennonites. Much spicier are six chili recipes, including such unusual ingredients as dumplings, chorizo and egg. "
The Beechy Grove Mennonite Church chili cook-off becomes the send-off for Rev. Schrock. Read full book review >
CUSTARD’S LAST STAND by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 4, 2003

"Scrawny, pesky, irresistibly funny Magdalena will have you overlooking plot glitches and reading on for her next amusing one-liner. Includes six custard recipes (not sampled)."
Had Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder but known Colonel Custard's plans for upscaling tiny, picturesque Hernia, Pennsylvania, with a 100-suite hotel, deluxe spa, gourmet restaurant, and hot-and-cold running amenities, she never would have rented out the second floor of her PennDutch Inn to him, his chauffeur Ivan, and his personal chef Anne. No sooner does she find out, however, than she calls a town meeting to deny him zoning rights, and the hubbub has barely peaked when the Colonel's lying dead on his bedroom floor with a bullet hole in his forehead and a gun in Ivan's hand. Magdalena's dopey brother-in-law, Sheriff Melvin Stoltzfus, thinks he's got the culprit, but Magdalena's not so sure, and having solved a few crimes in her time (No Use Dying Over Spilled Milk, 1996, etc.), she canvasses the locals for other possible suspects, a task complicated by omnipresent members of the Fourth Estate, all convinced that she's Bigfoot (don't ask). Of course, sticking her plus-size proboscis into everyone's business, from Sam Yoder's Corner Market to Elspeth Miller's Feed Store, worries Magdalena's Jewish fiancé, Gabe Rosen, especially when it forces her to confront a 25-foot snake with naught but a meat fork while it squeezes the life out of one very tiny killer while Melvin's besotted sidekick Zelda looks on. Read full book review >
NO USE DYING OVER SPILLED MILK by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 8, 1996

Third in a series featuring Magdalena Yoder (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Crime, etc.), the 40-something Mennonite owner of the PennDutch Inn. Called to the funeral of Yost Yoder, an Amish cousin in Farmersburg, Ohio, Magdalena is accompanied on the trip by her wayward sister Susannah and housekeeper Freni. Yost had drowned, naked, in a milk tank on his farm—this only days after young Levi Mast, on the eve of his wedding, had fallen from a silo to his death. There's subdued talk among friends and relatives of the strange behavior of the two before they died. By the time the funeral is over, snow has closed the highway home—a perfect excuse for Magdalena to visit around, asking questions, while Susannah, hormones rampant, gets herself involved with feckless Danny Hern, heir to the once highly praised Daisybell Dairy, now on a slide that had persuaded Yost and Levi to form their own dairy co-op. In the midst of it all, Danny vanishes—escaping from a promised elopement to Aruba, according to Susannah, who manages to make do with big-eared sheriff Marvin Stoltzfus. A lot more happens—little of it making much sense—before a kooky, inept plot is uncovered and Magdalena is reunited with the PennDutch Inn and handsome suitor Aaron Miller—her Pooky Bear. There are poignant moments and an occasional smile here, but the story will be most enjoyed by readers with high sugar tolerance and a fondness for archly self-deprecating stand-up comedy. Read full book review >
PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY, AND CRIME by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Hollywood has duly noted the murders at the PennDutch Inn (Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth, 1994), and turns upin the person of advance man Steve (Bugsy) Freemanon Magdalena Yoder's doorstep to rent the inn for filming. What a drag for Magdalena, and what an opportunity for her starstruck neighborsat least until assistant director Donald Manley is fatally skewered in the PennDutch barn (``Sure enough, the man had a pitchfork in his belly''). When half-wit police chief Melvin Stoltzfus takes his eye off Magdalena's flamboyant sister Susannah just long enough to accuse Magdalena of the killing, she decides to take temporary leave of her current (and first) romantic intrigue, with undersized chicken chef ``Jumbo'' Jim Fortuna, towell, not exactly detect (the final revelation will catch her more off- guard than most readers), but gossip more directedly. As she makes her way among her straitlaced, snipey neighbors and the insubstantial Hollywood types, Magdalena is as amusing as she was in her debut, although this time she alternates rather unnervingly between coy reserve and vulgar japery. Another walk on the Amish side with a mystery even tinier than Magdalena's suitor. Eight accompanying recipes look a lot less highly seasoned than peppery Magdalena. Read full book review >
TOO MANY CROOKS SPOIL THE BROTH by Tamar Myers
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 6, 1994

A tough week for Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder. Half the guests for her PennDutch Inn, the pride of Hernia, Pennsylvania, are animal-rights activists out to harass the other half—a hunting party headed by up-and-coming Congressman Garrett Ream. No wonder the recondite dietary requirements of a company that includes a vegan, a lacto, an ova, and several carnes send Magdalena's cook, Freni Hostetler, into repeated spasms of quitting (``Freni either needed to see a therapist or to seriously consider becoming a Baptist''). And that's before Magdalena's manic sister Susannah discovers that the lacto is secretly the Congressman's daughter, and before two of the guests are poisoned by two independent malefactors. As Magdalena herself, overcome by emotion, says: ``Gosh darn!'' Despite a strained, obvious mystery: a welcome debut for tart Magdalena, who's under no illusions about her bare-bones inn's appeal (``You'd be surprised how much people will pay for abuse, provided they can view it as a cultural experience''). Six nonpoisonous recipes—the first beginning, ``Clean and pluck the hens''—are scattered through the tale. Read full book review >