Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death has something of a Jewish motif, if you haven’t already guessed so by the ‘matzoh ball’ in the title. It is the story about the mystery surrounding an old lady’s death caused by a matzoh ball, and how two enterprising senior women go about solving it. Not because they love sleuthing, but to exonerate themselves.
The Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors houses all kinds of Jewish seniors. And they have a big dinner on the occasion of seder or Passover. Everyone is dressed up and set to enjoy the meal when Bertha Finkelstein falls dead in her soup. It turns out the matzoh ball killed her and Rose Kaplan, the one that made the soup is the prime suspect.
I have read and reviewed so many books starring women sleuths in the past year, that I combined it all to tell you about 33 top women sleuths who are sure to delight mystery lovers. Most of these have been authored by women, but lately I have seen a possible shift. The Murder Pit was written by Jeff Shelby and the author of this book also seems to be a man. While reading the book, it takes a while, almost 20%+ of the book to realize that the narrator is a woman named Ida.
Ida and Rose are close friends. Rose is the sharper of the two, and Ida fancies herself a sidekick. Rose sets out to prove her innocence in a methodical manner and tries to eliminate all possibilities. The senior women get up to a lot of physical action, and do things that might cause a youngster to frown. There are a lot of Jewish words throughout the book, and if you write them all out, you will have a handy lexicon. My only introduction to words like yenta and mensch has come from Fran Drescher. But I think this book might just trump Fran.
All said, the mystery is not that complicated. Nor is the solution. It is never clear which city the story is set in. Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death is a light read and offers just enough suspense and novelty to keep you there till the end.