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.