As the World Churns
by Tamar Myers

Obsidian, 2008. ISBN 978-0-45122-302-9.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 01/30/2008

Fiction: Mystery

Sometimes I laughed out loud,sometimes, I groaned. As the World Churns is an entertaining romp in the gentle hills of Pennsylvania led by Mennonite innkeeper Magdalena Yoder and a herd of Holsteins. Magdalena's new husband, Gabriel Rosen, MD, temporarily lives with his "yenta" mother across the road. In this farce, everything is exaggerated. One of Magdalena's guests calls her "absolutely delightful," while another describes her as "loony-tunes." In my opinion, both are correct.

There is not much of a mystery in this Gilbert & Sullivan drama, but there are bad guys and gals and good guys and gals. Toss in a defiant teenager, a Jewish mother-in-law from New York, a randy octogenarian, various Holsteins, and you have a recipe for a romp. The recipes in this, the 16th in the series, are for homemade ice cream such as avocado, honey, cheesecake and, of course, chocolate.

When Maggs isn't being holier than thou in her traditional garb or arguing theology with herself, she pokes some fun at current national politics. Sometimes (rather often, actually) she engages in flights of fancy sparked by an ordinary conversation. Folks often have to call her back from outer space. An example is her speculation on how all those animals could fit in Noah's ark. I like her flights of fancy, but I can understand how they could be disconcerting for those with whom she is conversing..

"Delightful" or "loony-tunes," take your pick. As the World Churns will be fun for some readers, outlandish for others.

Tamar Myers lives with her husband in South Carolina. She is author of two series, the Pennsylvania Dutch series and the Den of Antiquity series. Visit her website.

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