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Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #1)
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Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth

(Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,441 ratings  ·  172 reviews
In the first book of a wickedly funny new mystery series, Tamar Myers has created a memorable cast of eccentric characters and spiked her plot with a tasty selection of authentic Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. Magdalena Yoder, practical Mennonite proprietor of the determinedly quaint PennDutch Inn, has succeeded in converting a tranquil family farm into a thriving hostelry ca ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Signet (first published December 1st 1993)
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,441 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth by Tamar Myers is a 1995 publication.

This is the first book in the Pennsylvania Dutch series which now has twenty books to its credit. With the help of Hoopla, my local library and Playster, I am now able to piece together long running series and binge read them!

So, as I begin 2016, one of my reading goals is to finish at least one series, from start to finish. I am working on the Sue Grafton series as well, but since I have never read any of these, I will work
May 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eh, cozy, mystery
Meet Magdalena Yoder! She's a cranky forty something Menonite (Amish with electricity) who runs the Penn Dutch Inn where, for exorbitant amounts of money, you can experience real Amish life (you clean your own room, cook your own meals and generally run the place for Magdalena).

It's the beginning of hunting season in Pennsylvania and that means The Penn Dutch is at maximum capacity! We've got a Congressman and his entourage looking to score a buck! But, we've also got a contingent from a militan
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
It has been quite a while since I've read this author and this particular series, so I decided that I should try it again. I am so glad I did. I had forgotten what a fun read these books are., I particularly love the irreverent humor and how the author even had the audacity to use herself as an unseen character - and to make fun of her!

The story is, in my opinion, a little more complicated than it seems to be on the surface. There are lots of red herrings, but the truth is quite subtly woven int
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, cozies
This is the first in a series of an Amish woman that sets up her home as a B&B in Pennsylvania after her parents die. She offers the AML (Amish Living Plan) which is where each person cleans up after themselves. She does offer all meals as well (for a fee).

After a great review the B&B is always booked. Around rolls hunting season and she is booked once again with a lively group. A senator and his wife and various members of a animal rights group trying to save people from killing the dee
Sep 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book is not my style and I couldn't stand it from the first page.
Andrea Guy
Too Many Crooks Spoil The Broth is the first book in the Pennsylvania Dutch mystery series. Be proud! I'm reading this series in order! Before I review this book, I have to say, if you are knowledgeable of the Amish or Mennonite culture, you might want to pass on this series, cos Tamar seemed to be getting her religions muddled from time to time.

If you can get passed that, this is a hilarious start to a series. Magdalena is such a squirrelly woman. It is absolutely hard to believe she runs a B &
To begin with I really don't understand how someone can give this a one star rating. I absolutely loved the book. I enjoyed the characters - some more than others, of course. Magdalena - the "innkeeper" was enjoyable to me. Although Mennonite she wasn't afraid to "look outside the box" and see that some changes needed to be made when her parents died. Thus the "inn" came into being. I have to admit that I had an idea who was responsible for the murders, but not why or how the case would be resol ...more
Pattie Tierney
Apr 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
A gift from a friend, I started this book immediately upon completing the Taylor book. Why is this series so popular? I find none of the characters even remotely likable and the whole Mennonite austerity, self-righteousness, and sanctimony is almost more than I can bear. Not sure if I'll be able to make if through this one, but it will certainly be the last I read in this awful series.

I did finish this book, but really found the characters loathsome. The proprietress of the Inn was particularly
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A funny (perhaps slightly irreverent!) mystery about deaths (spoiler: there are two) at a Pennsylvania Amish inn frequented by the well-to-do hunting for an "authentic" Amish experience. The characters in this cozy mystery are well-developed and likeable despite their flaws. The plot, while not as action-packed as other cozy mysteries, is driven by the characters and the skeletons hiding in some of their closets. I can't wait to continue reading this series!

As a piece of humour, Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth deserves a four. As a cozy mystery, it is lucky to get a 3. I am still not sure if the book is meant to be a send-up of the cozy with recipes genre or not. The meals served at the PennDutch Inn, poison aside, sound atrocious. Why would one want the recipes? The PennDutch Inn itself is not high on my list of holiday destinations. There is the over-priced Amish Lifestyle Package in which, for a fee, you are welcome to do more household chores t
Danielle Gonzalez
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the first book of a Pennsylvania Dutch mystery series. The main character is a Mennonite woman, Magdalena, who runs a bed and breakfast in Hernia, PA. She lives with her unorthodox divorced sister (gasp), who breaks all the rules of their heritage. Deer season has started and the B&B is booked solid. As Magdalena checks in her guests she learns that some seem to be there to hunt and others are animal loving activists there to protest the killing of animals. One of the guests is found ...more
Miss Magdalena Yoder is worried about a lawsuit when a guest at her PennDutch Inn takes a fatal fall down a steep set of stairs. Her other guests include a congressman and his wife who have come for deer hunting season and a number of animal-rights activists. Her Amish cook quits when the vegetarian guests refuse to eat the Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Then a second guest is found dead in her room clutching a handmade quilt.

While I like many cozy mysteries, this one began to grate on me. There we
Jun 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
I've been researching my husband's Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, which includes Mennonite, and thought I would enjoy reading a book which combined his heritage with my favorite genre, mysteries.

Sadly, I "unenjoyed" this book. The main character is, hopefully, a poor representative of her religion. She lies with impunity, is mean, rude, obnoxious, conceited... I could go on, but why bother? She's not a person I'd like to befriend.

For the humor to be more than mostly tasteless jokes there needs to
It was alright. Way too much focus on the nitpicky vegetarians and vegans that the inn is "forced" to cater to. For an ovo-lacto-vegetarian this was not amusing. I mean, you're an inn. A Penn Dutch one, but still an inn. Anyhow, early 90s - attitudes have surely changed in the 2015 installment of the series, I hope. I didn't like the mystery, or the whole premise, which was boring and apparent, but I didn't mind Magdalena - crochety Mags with her ridiculous upbringing. I'm surprised she's not wo ...more
Carla JFCL
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I bought this book on a whim, because I liked the idea of a novel that contained recipes ... and enjoyed it so much that I became hooked on the series. That was several years ago; now I will no longer read books that are part of a series, with the exception of this one and J. D. Robb's "In Death" Series.

These are the books I turn to when I'm tired of reading about true crime, doomsday political stuff, dense "intellectual" novels or anything I have to think too hard about. I love the characters a
Deane Louise
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery
It wasn't edge of your seat reading, and I really didn't like the main character. The recipes looked good and easy to make. I didn't find any of the characters sympathetic and I won't waste my time reading any of the other books. This sense of humor is not to my taste. I can't abide people who complain, and that was all Miss Yoder did. She never had anything good to say about anyone or anything, and it was tiresome. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't.
 Carol  Clark
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an Amish murder mystery and it is splashed full of comedy. Magdelena Yoder runs a boarding house after her parents died. She has to contend with her sister Suzanne, an angry cook as well as a hunting senator and a bunch of animal rights activists. The author has a way of making ordinary situations fun and even thought the first murder takes a long time coming the book is interesting and very amusing. I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more by this author.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
I much prefer her Den of Antiquity series which is humorous and more interesting storylines. I had a hard time finding Magdalena Yoder, the main character, as anything more than annoying. Even if she's meant to be prickly, she wasn't interesting whereas Abbie in the Den series is often rude and selfish yet she's still humorous and interesting enough to want to find out what will happen to her next.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This book is ridiculous, yet I cannot put it down. It's a light read, but I think there's more to it if you're looking for it. The author uses more language than I'm comfortable with, to paint her characters, who are quite colorful.

All in all, it was good. There's something compelling about her writing. I have a love-hate relationship with her books :)
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
This came from grandma's bag of books and I didn't think I'd like it (thought it was one of those CA cooking writer ones) but I really did! The Mennonite woman had a lot of humor in there and it was really funny - not your typical who dun it.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly unlikable cast of characters

not a lot of mystery, but hypocrisy and mean sightedness abound. I didn't find a single redeeming trait in many of them, with the possibility of Doc. Even the recipes weren't all that great
Hali Jacobs
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the first of many books by Tamar Myers about the Pennsylvania Dutch Inn, where two murders happened. A hard to put down book that started the series about Magdalena Yoder, the owner of the inn and crime solver to help the local Hernia police.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the first in a series that began in the '90s. I read it for a book club. It was okay. I really liked it the first time I read it way back then and I have read all the books in the series except for the very last one.
Hmm, at the start I didn't like the main character (which is always a problem). By the end we were getting along a bit better so we'll see how this goes.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was an okay book. The description says "wickedly funny" which is one of the reasons I decided to read it, but to me, much of the humor was flat. A couple of reviewers said that the series gets better, so I'm going to read the next one. Here's hoping that I like it better.

The situation is intriguing, a Mennonite woman, running an Inn that gives a faux version of Amish / Mennonite living. I'm not sure how to say that better. I'm trying to say that everything exists on two levels: the real Pen
Dan Quigley
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first third is better written than the last two thirds because it is written so wittily. The humor in the first third had me dropping my jaw at just how clever the author was as she makes fun of vegetarians who go to an Amish B&B expecting traditional Amish food and to be accommodated in their vegan preference. Who doesn't know some anorexic, vegetarian pain-in-the-butt who thinks the world revolves around her every culinary affectation? Myers also makes f ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cosy-mysteries
This is the story of two women who own a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania. I thought the mystery well thought out and well done and I didn't guess who did it.

The older woman and main character, was very Christian (supposedly) while her 10 year younger sister was very promiscuous. Together they live in the bed and breakfast. All the older sister did was complain about how the younger would make their mother spin in her grave and how she never did any work around the bed and breakfast.

I found t
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I got this book as well as two others in this series from my grandmother, who in turn says that she got them as a gift many years ago.

The story was a lighter, fun read, which is what I was anticipating, though the lack of empathy in our MC was startling, and her "woe is me" attitude to everything and general rudeness was not so great. It wasn't difficult to overlook her personality so long as you don't intend to take the story as a suspenseful murder mystery, so it was ok for me.

Overall, good b
Linda Smatzny
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book in a series. The main character is Magdalena Yoder who is a no-nonsense owner of an inn . She is very opinionated , sure of herself but not very knowledgeable of the world. A woman is found dead at the foot of the stairs in the inn and Magdalena is worried about being sued. When another woman is found dead she begins to wonder what is happening in her world. The book was a quick easy read.
Vjera Thompson
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty cheesy, slightly preachy, and a little absurd. Here’s a typical line that caught my eye: “There is something uniquely satisfying about having a rich, elegant, well-bred socialite beg for one’s help in chicken coop.”
Unfortunately two of the characters had similar names and I had a hard time keeping track.
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Audiobooks: FREE Reviewer Copies - Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth 1 17 Oct 29, 2014 04:46AM  
  • A Catered Murder (A Mystery with Recipes, #1)
  • Southern Fried
  • A Murderous Glaze (Clay and Crime, #1)
  • Just Desserts (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #1)
  • Bad Faith (Sister Agatha, #1)
  • Candy Apple Dead (A Candy Shop Mystery, #1)
  • A Taste for Murder (Hemlock Falls Mysteries, #1)
  • Dying for Dinner (A Cooking Class Mystery, #4)
  • Just Desserts (A Savannah Reid Mystery, #1)
  • Bedeviled Eggs (Cackleberry Club, #3)
  • Something's Cooking (Angie Amalfi, #1)
  • Death by Rhubarb (Heaven Lee, #1)
  • Murder of a Small-Town Honey (A Scumble River Mystery, #1)
  • Steamed (A Gourmet Girl Mystery, #1)
  • Grime and Punishment (Jane Jeffry, #1)
  • Sympathy for the Devil (Madeline Bean, #1)
  • The Long Quiche Goodbye (A Cheese Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Tippy Toe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #2)
Tamar Myers was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (now just the Congo). Her parents were missionaries to a tribe which, at that time, were known as headhunters and used human skulls for drinking cups. Hers was the first white family ever to peacefully coexist with the tribe, and Tamar grew up fluent in the local trade language. Because of her pale blue eyes, Tamar’s nickname was Ugly Eyes.


Other books in the series

Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Crime (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #2)
  • No Use Dying Over Spilled Milk (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #3)
  • Just Plain Pickled to Death (Pennsylvania Dutch, #4)
  • Between a Wok and a Hard Place (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #5)
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Wary (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #6)
  • Play It Again, Spam (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #7)
  • The Hand That Rocks the Ladle (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #8)
  • The Crepes of Wrath (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #9)
  • Gruel and Unusual Punishment (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #10)
  • Custard's Last Stand (Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery, #11)