Friday, September 30, 2022

A Pain in the Tuchis, a Mrs. Kaplan Mystery


A Pain in the Tuchis is the second cozy mystery by Mark Reutlinger featuring octogenarian sleuth Mrs. Kaplan and her own Dr. Watson, Ida Berkowitz. Released in this edition 12th Jan 2022, it's 217 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

The Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors is once again the site of a murder. This time it's the demise of the universally disliked "pain in the tuchis" Vera Gold who is hastened to the hereafter. The list of people who couldn't get along with Vera was extensive. Mrs. Kaplan and her friend Ida are on the scene and are determined to get to the bottom of things. There is warm and compassionate humor throughout, the language is squeaky clean, and there's no graphic violence involved. 

The author manages a pitch perfect tone and vernacular with the characters. It would have been -very- easy for him to fall on the wrong side of caricature and/or respectfulness. Throughout most of the book I could literally *hear* my grandfather and aunties' voices. For readers who are unfamiliar with Jewish and Yiddish slang, there's quite a lot of both sprinkled throughout. The author is diligent about explaining potentially unfamiliar language in context or quickly translating in the text. It adds a lot of atmosphere to the read.

The scene descriptions verge on slapstick sometimes but even those bring a nostalgia more reminiscent of an episode of "I Love Lucy" or "The Golden Girls". I really loved most everything about the book. It was a comfort read - but it did leave me with a serious craving for my grandmother's chicken matzo soup. 

Four stars. There are three books in the series currently, so it would make a good choice for a mini-binge read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.


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