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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Oy Vey, Maria! by Mark Reutlinger - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Mark Reutlinger and his new book, “Oy Vey, Maria!” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Mark and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Oy Vey, Maria!

by Mark Reutlinger


GENRE: Cozy Mystery



Rose Kaplan and her sidekick Ida are at it again. It’s the holiday of Purim, and almost everyone at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors is in costume for the Purim play. All except one, who will instead have to be fitted for a shroud. Once again, “Mrs. K” and Ida are called upon to solve the puzzle of a mysterious death at the Home. Described by Chanticleer Book Reviews as “at times more Lucy and Ethel than Holmes and Watson, with a soupcon of Miss Jane Marple,” these geriatric amateur sleuths will keep you laughing, guessing, and maybe even learning a bissel Yiddish!



I picked up one of the nickels from the tray and put it in the slot and pulled the handle again.

Nothing happened, of course, and just as I was about to do the same with the next nickel, I turned around and saw Mrs. K and Sara staring at me. I felt as if I’d been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. And at my age!

Suddenly Sara burst out laughing. “Auntie Ida, I didn’t know you were a gambler. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought you here. I hate to interrupt you when you’re winning,” she said looking at the tray with the nickels in it, “but we have to go.”

I started to explain that I wasn’t gambling and had just sat down for a rest, but neither Sara nor Mrs. K looked like they believed me.

“You know,” Mrs. K said to Sara, “I think this gambling habit is contagious. Already Ida has caught it. We should leave before we’re all standing in front of those machines losing our money.”

Mrs. K took me by the arm and helped me up.

“But don’t forget your winnings, Ida,” she said, scooping out the remaining nickels from the tray. “Gambling may be a bad habit, but a nickel is still a nickel.”

And so did my gambling career both begin and end in a five-minute period.

From now on, I decided, a game of dreidel with my grandchildren at Chanukah will be my only vice.



Mrs. K and Ida are delightfully entertaining, offering a unique, comical, and quirky spin as a Holmes and Watson type amateur sleuthing duo!!

This book is such a charming, whimsical read filled with quirky characters, witty banter, and intriguing cozy mystery story lines weaved throughout an entertaining (and often times humorous) take on the older Jewish community that is sure to keep you engaged ‘til the last page!!

This book is also full of amusing Yiddish catch phrases and Jewish culture that are not only educational, but also fun and interesting to learn!!  The author was able to easily add these into the story with a natural voice, but clever dialogue that was simple to follow and understand.  I truly felt the author did a great job incorporating these terms into the story and providing a quick and straightforward interpretation of such phrase.  However, I really wish the author had included a vocabulary reference section of Yiddish terms at the beginning of the book.  This would allow the reader to not only understand and learn Yiddish, but perhaps even include the pronunciation of such terms, which I’m sure I embarrassingly butchered through many of them – at least in my head, not out loud lol!!

This book starts off with Mrs. K and Ida enjoying tea at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors and discussing plans for the upcoming celebrations for the holiday of Purim.  Their morning is quickly interrupted by Naomi, the daughter of Miriam Blumenthal, a resident of the Home.  Naomi, clearly troubled (or shall we say – fardeiget), confides in Mrs. K and Ida about the recent troubles with her mom’s full-time helper/companion aid, Maria.  Naomi and her brother Barry, are concerned that Maria is taking advantage of their mom, taken over her day-to-day life, and is even trying to turn her mom against them and cut them out completely.  While Naomi does reference concerns over financial aspects, more specifically her mother’s will and bad investments, she does seem saddened about how this is hurting their relationship.  Mrs. K agrees to intervene to talk to Miriam and find out what’s really going on. While Mrs. K and Ida are beginning their investigation and still trying to determine what Maria is up to, it isn’t long before they stumble upon Maria, lying on the ground – dead!!  And standing over her, holding a gun, is none other than Harold Pupik, the general manager of the Home.  While this seems like a closed case, Mrs. K and Ida, are set on proving 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2.  Nothing is ever as it seems and while Harold clearly had motive and opportunity, it is quickly discovered there are many suspects that may have wanted Maria dead!!  Mrs. K and Ida sure have their work cut out for them, and with the blessing of the local police detective, who is familiar with their sleuthing skills, Mrs. K and Ida dive in to prove Harold’s innocence and catch the real killer!!

Mrs. K and her sidekick, Ida, define the stereotypical Jewish woman character with the brash, loud, humorous, nosy-neighbor, gossipy style that we all know to love and find dearly entertaining.  I was a TV Land kid, so I grew up watching re-runs of The Nanny, and I must say I see many parallels to Fran Dresher’s character, who inspiringly paved the way for Jewish women to be not only be accepted and recognized in the media, but also to accurately shape their narrative as TV, movie, and book characters.  And while today’s more noted Jewish females in pop-culture (i.e., Gal Gadot aka Wonder Woman, Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Sarah Silverman, etc.) have significantly continued to shift and broaden these norms, there is still work to be done to make the entertainment industry more progressive with these types of rolls.  Many Jewish cultural norms and references are respectfully represented in this book, and I feel the author did take great care depicting this community in a light, fun, whimsical likeness.

This book is written with unnamed chapter titles that create smooth, steady transitions that allow the reader to stay emerged in the story.  This book is also told from Ida’s Point-of-View, further adding to the list of similarities of the Holmes and Watson writing style.

This book is Book Three in the Mrs. Kaplan Mystery Book Series, and while I had not previously read the first two books, I had no trouble keeping up.  This book can easily be read as a standalone.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!!  I think all cozy mystery readers and amateur sleuthing fans will like this book too!!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations**



Mark Reutlinger, professor of law emeritus at Seattle University, is the author of the “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (of which Oy Vey, Maria! is the third installment) and the caper mystery Murder with Strings Attached, as well as the political thrillers Made in China and Sister-in-Law: Violation, Seduction, and the President of the United States. Mark and his wife, Analee, live in University Place, Washington.







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Mark will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Mark ~ Good morning!! Welcome to FAB!! It is so great to have you here!! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour!! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy!! :)

    1. Thanks, Ally, for hosting the tour and for the nice comments about the story. All of the characters in it are, in some ways, representative of people I've met, or might even be in my family (although I don't know any who committed murder!), so I'm glad they come through as authentic for you.

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt, Mark, your book sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks, Fabulous and Brunette, for sharing your review! Thanks for sharing it with me and have an awesome weekend!