As usual, things are in a turmoil at Magdalena Yoders Bed and Breakfast in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Not only is the B&B full of cranky, persnickety guests, but her housekeeper, Freni Hostetler, is about to become the grandmother of tripletsand then Frenis daughter-in-law goes into labor and they make a mad dash for the hospital.

When the delivery room doctor finally announces that twin sons have been born, Freni is furious. She was promised triplets, and shes sure theres a baby granddaughter thats been spirited away. Although everyone else seems satisfied that only twins were born, Freni persuades Magdalena to find out what happened.

As Magdalena interviews hospital personnel, to her surprise, she discovers there may be some truth to Frenis suspicions. And when murder rears its ugly head, she learns that the missing triplet may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Quirky characters, cynical humor, and an appealing heroine make THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE LADLE a scintillating read, and Myers includes several tasty recipes, including one for peanut brittle. (Mar., 272 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg