Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Pain in the Tuchis

It is Have a Bad Day Day (I am not kidding)!  It was created to encourage people to wish someone a bad day (instead of saying have a good day). So if you have ever wanted to wish someone a bad day, do it today!  It is also the Great American Smokeout!  If you or a family member smoke, this is the day to try and stop. Smoking not only causes damage to the smoker but to those around the smoker (especially those with asthma). My father smoked almost his whole life and you would not believe the damage it did to his lungs.  I will get off my soapbox now and I appreciate you listening (or, in this case, reading).

A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger is the second book in a Mrs. Kaplan Mystery series.  Rose Kaplan and her sidekick, Ida Berkowitz live at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors.  Vera Gold (who was a pain in everyone’s tuchis) just passed away (on Yom Kippur).  Her sister, Fannie Kleinberg does not believe that Vera died from a natural death (since she was getting better after having been ill) and asks Rose to look into the matter.  Rose had previous success solving a crime and has been helpful in finding items for residents (and solving disputes).  Rose and Ida start talking to various people to find out what happened to Vera Gold.  When it turns out that Vera was poisoned, Rose will have to try and narrow down the suspect pool (since Vera managed to alienate everyone she met) to find the killer.

I found A Pain in the Tuchis to be just a satisfactory novel.  The story is told from Ida’s perspective so we do not know everything Rose is thinking and doing during the book (which leaves us missing clues since she is the one solving the crime).  There are also many (way too many) Yiddish phrases in the book (some are explained and some are not).   The mystery was extremely easy to solve (though the author tries to mislead the reader).  There are also several side stories going on during the book (Motorcycle Moishe who wants to date Ida, Sol and his issues with his mother-in-law) that have nothing to do with the mystery.  I had trouble getting into this story.  I wanted to enjoy it, but I did not.  I think part of it is the rambling nature of the book.   It is written like Ida is talking to you and telling you a story (but we get everything not just the mystery—i.e. shopping, dinner, tea time).   I give A Pain in the Tuchis 3 out of 5 stars.  I believe the story just needs a little more work (like getting rid of the extraneous characters and all the Yiddish phrases).  I also think the story would be better if it was told from Rose’s point of view instead of Ida’s.  A Pain in the Tuchis is the second book in the series, but can easily be read alone.

The first book in A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery series is Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death.  You can follow Mark Reutlinger on Amazon to receive updates on his novels.  I received a complimentary copy of A Pain in the Tuchis from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I am currently reading Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson.  I am going to eat dinner and get ready for my shows tonight.  I cannot believe that some of the shows (Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder) are having their winter finales already.  I think we got (max) eight shows so far this season.  They will probably not return until the end of January (like last year).  Good thing I have plenty of books to read (and a lot of shows saved on the DVR).  Have a great Thursday evening and Happy Reading.

The Avid Reader

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