Downton Abbey meets the Penn Dutch Inn.
As fans already know, Magdalena Portulacca Yoder Rosen is a Mennonite bed-and-breakfast owner married to a Jewish physician. Her mother-in-law surpasses the wildest stereotype of a Jewish mother, her half brother is a serial killer, and as the wealthiest person in her small Pennsylvania community, she pays the bills for anything from the sheriff to the pastor of her church. Her latest guests at the inn are the Earl of Grimsley-Snodgrass, his wife, Countess Aubrey, and their three children, identical twin viscounts Rupert and Sebastian and their sister, Lady Celia. Not long after the guests arrive, the desiccated body of a former guest from Japan is found on top of the elevator, clearing up the question of what smelled so awful for such a long time. Cultural misunderstandings abound. In an effort to entertain her British guests, Magdalena takes them on a picnic, where Celia claims to have seen one of the twins pushed off a cliff. For better or worse, no body is found. The handsome local sheriff makes a token effort to solve the crimes, but as always, Magdalena comes up with the answer.
Sarcasm and wacky humor overwhelm the underwhelming mystery in Magdalena’s ninth (The Death of Pie, 2014, etc.).