Magdalena Yoder, a Mennonite innkeeper in rural Hernia, Pa., recently discovered that, years ago, her father had an affair and she has a half sister. But that's not all that's going on in her life. Local farmer Gingerich has sold some of his land to Californians who intend to build a winery and hotel.

Since alcohol is a big no-no in the Mennonite community, residents are up in arms. And when the body of one of the new owners, Felicia Bacchustelli, is found at the construction site, Magdalena believes that the woman's death was not an accident, it was murder.

With her unique wit and forthright charm, Magdalena questions local residents. No one is beyond suspicion, and when the killer strikes again, Magdalena must work quickly before she is the next victim.

Magdalena is a one-of-a kind protagonist, shining with honesty and old-fashioned Mennonite common sense. This mystery is a fast-paced novel of suspense with well-crafted characters and tantalizing recipes. (Feb., 240 pp., $19.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick