More mirthful murder for Mennonite Magdalena Yoder, the leading citizen of Hernia, Penn. (Grape Expectations, 2006, etc.).
Wealthy, handsome playboy Cornelius Weaver dies in the bed of Hernia Police Chief Olivia Hornsby-Anderson three days before his wedding to Priscilla Livingood. Even more scandalous, the autopsy reveals that his heart attack was helped along with Elavil. Priscilla is testament to the talent of her plastic-surgeon boss Jimmy Skinner, Magdalena Yoder’s schoolgirl crush, who’s changed her life by diagnosing this ugly duckling with dysmorphic body disorder and making her realize she’s really a beauty. In addition, there’s no dearth of other suspects, since Cornelius slept his way through most of the eligible women in town and promised to marry quite a few of them. Meanwhile, Magdalena’s Mennonite beliefs clash with her love life, forcing her to cancel her engagement to Gabe Rosen, aka the Babester—no loss to Gabe’s overprotective Yiddishe Mamma. Magdalena forges on, interviewing all the ladies who were doing the mattress mambo with Cornelius but not making any new friends with her sarcastic manner. At length, she outwits the handpicked minister who’s blackmailing her for a larger salary, saves the Beachy Grove church from a takeover, discovers who murdered Cornelius and carries Gabe off in triumph.
A masterful Mennonite mystery marred only by curry recipes that don’t seem right for Hernia.