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Jewish Mysteries and Science Fiction
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[book] Terror Town
An Abe Lieberman Mystery
by Stuart M. Kaminsky
January 2006, Forge.
From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. Edgar-winner Kaminsky writes four ongoing mystery series, but his books about close-to-retirement Chicago police detective Abe Lieberman are the ones that get the least attention. With luck, this terrific ninth book (after 2004's The Last Dark Place) will change all that. Managing to be genuinely scary when he describes urban crime, Kaminsky is also blessed with a subtle irony about his hero: "His wife, Bess, thought he looked like Harry James. His grandchildren thought he looked like the dog in some cartoon they watched. Abe had watched the cartoon with them once and admitted the resemblance." The particular crimes that occupy the working hours of Lieberman and his partner, Bill Hanrahan, this time out include the savage murder of a young mother in a gangster-ridden South Side Chicago neighborhood; the sudden, unmotivated smack on the head with a Coke bottle suffered by a former Chicago Cubs player in his favorite hot dog establishment; and the truly frightening antics of a religious maniac who dabbles in extortion. In between, Abe finds time to eat everything in sight and to try very hard to be a devout Jew. The MWA recently named Kaminsky a Grand Master. Click to read more.

[book] The Final Solution
A Story Of Detection
by Michael Chabon
November 2004. Fourth Estate.
In only 131 pages, the celebrated novelist, Michael Chabon tells the tale of a retired Sherlock Holmes (not actually mentioned by name) who meets a young German Jewish refugee during WWII. In deep retirement in the English country-side, an eighty-nine-year-old man, vaguely recollected by locals as a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African gray parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out -- a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts perhaps? Or something more sinister? Is the solution to this last case -- the real explanation of the mysterious boy and his parrot -- beyond even the reach of the once-famed sleuth? Subtle revelations lead the reader to a wrenching resolution. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] But He Was Good to His Mother
The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters
by Robert A. Rockaway
Gefen Books. 2000
Now in its 7th printing - inludes more gangsters! Newly footnoted and expanded bibliography! New FBI documents! More detailed information about the alleged plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler! While doing research for this book, Prof. Robert Rockaway interviewed old-time Jewish mobsters and their families. He never knew what his subjects would say or do, so he came prepared for any eventuality. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Jewish Detective Stories for Kids
by Dvora Waysman
Pitsopany (Cute) Press.
Grades 4-6
Booklist states: These six stories contain "mysteries" written to impart lessons in Jewish history and theology. A cherished family mezuzah travels from Russia to America hidden in a teapot; two girls become involved in bringing an escaped Nazi war criminal to justice; an Israeli immigrant girl whose family survived the Holocaust loses her cherished stamp album at school and enlists the help of her friends to find the thief. ..... Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] BETHLEHEM ROAD MURDER
A Mystery by Batya Gur
December 2004. HarperCollins.
The body of a young woman with her face ruined is discovered in the attic of a house in the Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem, on Rehov Bethlehem. Michael Ohayon is called to the scene to investigate. But this involves more than a crime scene and murder, it involves the place of an old love and unfinished romance. The criminal investigation is set in the complexities of Jerusalem, the tension between Mizrahi Jews and European Jews, Jews and Arabs, the intifada, and the allegedly kidnapped Yemenite children of the 1950's. Click the book cover above to read more.

December 1, 2002. The seventh witty novel/mystery in this series. Abe Lieberman is "a figure out of Talmudic lore-endearing, wise in his crotchets, weary with his wisdom," says The Washington Post. He loves what he does, but it takes its toll as his commitment to what is right is sorely tested every day on the mean streets of Chicago. As a moral man, he is sometimes faced with some uncomfortable ethical choices in order to see that justice-rather than the letter of the law-is meted out. And in Not Quite Kosher, the latest Abe Lieberman mystery by veteran Edgar Award-winning Stuart Kaminsky, our hangdog sleuth is up to his eyeballs in tsurris, the kind of trouble that will drive a man to madness. From tracking a pair of low-rent thieves who stumble into a heist way over their heads to finding out what happened to a man who predicted his own death in a bizarre twist of fate, not to mention planning for a grandson's bar mitzvah that threatens to send him to the poorhouse, Lieberman will do much to find a way to make everything right, even if it takes years off his life. And his Irish partner, Bill Hanrahn, the Priest to Lieberman's Rabbi, is in trouble of his own making. For the woman he loves is the object of affection of one of the kingpins of the Asian crime syndicate in Chicago and the notion of this woman marrying anyone from a different culture is anathema. How far will he go to win the woman he loves? And at what cost? Click to read more.

[book] He, She and It
by Marge Piercy
In the middle of the twenty-first century, life as we know it has changed for all time. Shira Shipman's marriage has broken up, and her young son has been taken from her by the corporation that runs her zone, so she has returned to Tikva, the Jewish free town where she grew up. There, she is welcomed by Malkah, the brilliant grandmother who raised her, and meets an extraordinary man who is not a man at all, but a unique cyborg implanted with intelligence, emotions--and the ability to kill.... From the imagination of Marge Piercy comes yet another stunning novel of morality and courage, a bold adventure of women, men, and the world of tomorrow. Click to read more.

[book] O'Brien's Desk
An Historical Mystery
by Ona Russell
Sunstone Press, 2004.
O'Brien's Desk is an historical mystery based on real events in 1920s Ohio. Author Ona Russell's grandfather-in-law was a prominent judge in Toledo during that time. When Russell came upon his secret collection of scrapbooks and newspaper clippings, she unraveled the fascinating true story of political intrigue and personal secrets that would become her first novel. It is 1923 and O'Brien O'Donnell, called "Obee" by his friends, is a prominent, well-loved judge in Toledo, Ohio. At age 59, he has recently married and become a father for the first time. Perhaps a bit too recently for some Toledo citizens, who whisper about the timing of the sudden wedding and the birth of a child. But these whispers turn out to be the least of Obee's problems. His other secrets are deeper and more painful, and could potentially destroy his career. A chilling blackmail letter arrives and causes Obee a near-fatal nervous breakdown. From his hospital bed, he turns to his trusted colleague, Sarah Kaufman, for help. Sarah is a woman ahead of her time-a single, Jewish, career-woman of exceptional intelligence and strength. She is eager to stop the blackmailer from ruining Obee's chances for re-election. As the only person who can help her dear colleague and friend, Sarah dives headlong into a shocking-and dangerous-investigation. The ensuing events paint a complex picture of the 1920s. Though women may be raising their hemlines, bobbing their hair and enjoying the newly won right to vote, society remains tainted by injustice and deception. Sarah faces some of the era's most complex social attitudes-homosexuality, mental illness, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, drug addiction, political corruption and the influence of the media. Equal parts rich history lesson and can't-set-down mystery, this novel has already left a wake of enthusiastic readers in its path-many of whom are eagerly anticipating Russell's next novel in the series, set during the Scopes "Monkey" trial. Click to read more.

[book] Once upon a Time: An Inspector Green Mystery
by Barbara Fradkin

Fall 2002. When an old man dies a seemingly natural death in a parking lot, only Inspector Michael Green finds it suspicious. Something about the closed case has caught his eye-why did the victim have a mysterious gash on his head, inflicted around the time of his death? Talking to the man's family only increases Green's curiosity. They are obviously hiding something about the old man, who lived in isolation as though avoiding painful memories. A search of his house turns up an old tool box with a hidden compartment containing a German ID card from World War II. The man was a Pole, but he never mixed with the Polish community in his small town, and he had been arrested for fighting with a fellow Pole. The scent becomes even stronger when it is revealed that the two men were from the same small town in Poland. Was the victim a Jewish camp survivor or a Nazi soldier trying to escape imprisonment? Or had he been a Polish collaborator who had sold his own people into slavery and death? Could someone have tracked him down for revenge? Gradually, suspects emerge, including members of the man's own family. But even Green, with all his experience, could never have imagined that the truth would come so close to his own life. Click to read more.

[book] Mist Walker: An Inspector Green Mystery (Rendezvous Crime)
by Barbara Fradkin

Fall 2003. Innocent scapegoat or monster manipulator? Matthew Fraser was an idealistic young teacher accused of molesting a young schoolgirl and acquitted in a sensational case that left the truth hidden and the young teacher's life in tatters. Ten years later, his distraught confidante walks into Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green's office insisting that Fraser has vanished. Green's curiosity is piqued when he discovers that Fraser left behind his beloved dog, a half-eaten dinner, and an apartment crammed with research related to his case. Has Fraser fled to escape the wrath of victims, new or old? Or was he innocent all along and has spent the last ten years trying to clear his name? If so, what secrets did he uncover, and who has the most to lose from their revelation? The girl's natural father, who has a memory as relentless as his rage? Her stepfather, an arrogant attorney who tries to block Green's every move? Her mother and brother, masters of self-interest? Or even the girl herself, now an embittered teen? And who is Fraser's mysterious email correspondent with the user name Mistwalker? When the charred remains of a vagrant turn up in a dilapidated downtown rooming house, Green probes the actions of authorities and former investigators on the case and begins to suspect the desperate cover-up may extend beyond the family. As Fraser's confidante is stalked and Green's own teenage daughter goes missing, Green rushes to uncover the truth and unmask the identity of the Mist Walker . Click to read more.

[book] Stone Kiss
by Faye Kellerman

July 2002. Warner Books. Rina Lazarus has some shocking news for her husband, LAPD Lieutenant Peter Decker. A horrible murder has occurred in the family of his half-brother, Rabbi Jonathan Levin. The rabbi's brother-in-law was found slain in a seedy hotel room in upper Manhattan, and the victim's 15-year-old niece, with whom he was spending the day, is missing. Decker, with Rina at his side, immediately heads out to New York to assist in the investigation. But what starts out as simple inquiries soon evolves into a twisted and perilous journey-from the darkened slums of New Jersey and the deserted industrial streets of New York to the recesses of sexual perversity and the hidden meeting places of Hasidic outcasts. Thrust into a deadly maze of deceit, lies, and danger, the couple can no longer trust anyone-friend or family. And when salvation is finally within Decker's grasp, it can only be delivered by a depraved lone wolf, hell-bent on his own personal vengeance. Click to read more.

[book] Survival Instincts
by Marissa Piesman

This is the latest mystery featuring Nina Fischman, that witty Upper West Side lawyer who's slipping out of her thirties, still on a diet and without a boyfriend. Just three months after Nina gave up everything to follow her boyfriend Jonathan to California, she is back in New York--single, jobless, living with her mother and ready to start all over again. But the doldrums quickly subside when her brother-in-law, the dermatologist, becomes a murder suspect. Ken was involved in a real estate deal with Andy, the dead man, a scientist whose researches involved animal experimentation, and he seems to have been poisoned--just what Nina needed. She and her equally irrepressible mother Ida can't keep their noses out of trouble and start their own investigation. Whodunit? The dead man's striking wife? Andy's lab colleagues? The animal activist? Ken? And can Nina figure it all out as the clues fall into place? You bet. Click to read extensive reviews.

click here for Heading Uptown: A Nina Fischman Mystery by Marissa Piesman
click here for Alternate Sides: A Nina Fischman Mystery by Marissa Piesman
click here for Unorthodox Practices: A Nina Fischman Mystery by Marissa Piesman

[book] The Nylon Hand of God
by Steven Hartov

Like his debut, The Heat of Ramadan, Hartov's second novel is a superior thriller, dark and exciting, that pits an Israeli military intelligence officer against ruthless and wily terrorists. The narrative opens with a suicide bombing of the Israeli embassy in New York. Because the attack may have been intended to disrupt Operation Moonlight, an imminent top-secret prisoner exchange between Israel and the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hizbollah, the operation's engineer, Lt. Colonel Benjamin "Benni" Baum, flies to the States to investigate. There, the aging Baum takes time out to reconcile with his estranged daughter-who becomes a prime target for the colonel's old enemy, German terrorist Martina Klump, whom Baum suspects of the bombing. But neither Baum nor Klump suspect that they both are being manipulated by agents of Iran, who are using the prisoner exchange as a cover for a far more dangerous game. Hartov excels not only at action scenes-a shoot-out in a nursing home; the theft of a missile-but also at character touches and turns that deepen and complicate the plot. The most resonant complications concern Baum's past. Once revealed, they throw a shadow over the entire narrative, even its thrilling climax, lifting the novel from the realm of first-rate action-adventure into that of the finest sort of espionage thriller-one that touches on the painful truths behind the spymaster's stocks-in-trade of deceit and betrayal. Click to read extensive reviews.

click here for Heat of Ramadan by Steven Hartov
click here for The Devil's Shepherd by Steven Hartov

[book] Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
by Kinky Friedman

September 2002. Simon & Schuster. It's a case of missing kid and missing kitty when Kinky Friedman, private dick extraordinaire and animal lover nonpareil, attempts to find a young, autistic New York boy and a three-legged Texas cat named Lucky, both of whom have disappeared. Something is rotten in both the states of New York and Texas, and Kinky takes it upon himself to locate not one, but two of God's creatures who have gone astray. Dylan Weinberg is an eleven-year-old boy with a rare form of autism -- a pint-sized stock-market wizard who can only utter one word, "Shnay." He's on a multitude of medications, and one night his father wakes up to find Dylan perched over his bed like some preteen zombie, clutching a pair of scissors and cutting up the sheets. Since that evening, two weeks ago, Dylan has been missing, and the cops have no leads -- and apparently not much interest. That's why, in an absolute last-resort maneuver, the family has called in Kinky to the rescue. ..... In New York, Rambam has no clue where Dylan might be, but he is becoming increasingly sure that Julia is the Jewish answer to his romantic prayers. Kinky warns him to put the wedding plans on hold and track down Hattie Mamajello, Dylan's former nanny, but it's too little too late when Hattie is pushed off a subway platform and killed. The confusion generated by these two disparate cases is enough to drive a dick to drink -- which Kinky is happy to do -- but he's still got a missing kid and a missing kitty on his cigar-stained hands to locate before (a) Rambam whisks Julia off to Vegas for a quickie wedding and (b) Cousin Nancy calls in the FBI, the CIA, and the Mossad to find her Lucky. Click to read extensive reviews.

By Faye Kellerman

August 14, 2001. Kellerman's thirteenth mystery that stars Lt. Peter Decker and his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus. Faye Kellerman can be counted on to deliver emotional complexity along with suspense, and in The Forgotten it comes from the relationship between Peter and Jacob, Rina's troubled teenage son. Jacob has a personal connection to the event that sets off this intricately plotted novel, the defacing of Rina's synagogue by one of his classmates. Ernesto Golding can't explain why he vandalized the synagogue, but when he and his therapists are murdered months after the incident, Peter realizes that something the teenager told him when admitting his guilt may hold the key to the killings: Ernesto's belief that his grandfather may have been a Nazi who posed as a Jew to escape to South America after the war. Investigating Ernesto's story gives Rina a strand of the plot to tease out; meanwhile, Peter concentrates on another motive for the therapist murders that involves computer fraud, the College Board exams, and the high cost exacted by parents who pressure their teenagers to succeed.

[book] Long Time No See
by Susan Isaacs.

Judith Singer is back! After twenty years, Susan Isaacs brings us back the heroine from Compromising Positions, her first and most beloved novel, and returns to a great suspense story set in suburbia. Judith's life has changed. She now has her doctorate in history. Her workaday hours are spent at St. Elizabeth's College, mostly squandered in history department shriek-fests. She also is a widow. Her husband, Bob, died one-half day after triumphantly finishing the New York City Marathon in four hours and twelve minutes. And although twenty years have passed without her seeing him, she still cannot get her former lover, Nelson Sharpe, of the Nassau County Police Department, out of her system. With Courtney Logan's dramatic disappearance, all eyes turn instantly toward her husband, Greg Logan, son of Long Island mobster Philip "Fancy Phil" Lowenstein. But since there is no body, there is no arrest. Then, in the less than merry month of May, Judith comes home from work, turns on the radio, and hears the Logans' pool man telling a reporter that he opened the pool and found . . . a raccoon? Not quite. "I see, you know, it's . . . a body!Jeez. Believe it or not, I'm still shaking." The woman in the pool turns out to be Courtney, and now it's officially homicide. And Judith comes alive! She offers her services to the police's chief suspect, Greg Logan, but he shows her the door, thinking her just another neighborhood nut. But his father isn't so sure: Fancy Phil may have other plans for her. Edgar M. Bronfman, writing in Lilith Magazine, wrote: "it is largely a vehicle for Isaac's observations on sex and friendship in the lives of midlife women."

[book] DON'T CRY FOR ME HOT PASTRAMI by Sharon Kahn. A Ruby the Rabbi's Wife Mystery.
September 17, 2001. By Sharon Kahn (Fax Me A Bagel, and Never Nosh a Matzo ball) This is the third tale of Rabbi Rothman's widow, Ruby, and her posse at Temple Rita in Eternal Texas. Essie Sue Margolis, a busybody at the Temple, is planning to cruise with a lecturer on "Jews of the Caribbean" (a new ride at Disneyland?), professor Willie Bob Gonzales. Ruby has an idea. Maybe the cruise can help boost the popularity of the Temple's new rabbi, Rabbi Kevin Kapstein? But the sea captain, Horatio Goldberg, is actually Essie Sue's cousin, and the professor dies as he is about to board the ship. Will this ruin the cruise? Who killed him? Can her internet friends intervene for Ruby? Will she finally fall in love again while at Sea?

[book] CRIMINAL KABBALAH. An intriguing anthology of Jewish Mystery and Detective Fictions. Edited by Lawrence Raphael. Foreword by Laurie King
Jewish Lights. A new collection of 12 Jewish mysteries. Contributors include Michael A. Kahn, Rochelle Krich, Stuart Kaminsky, Sandra Levy Ceren, Laurie King, Lev Raphael, and others. Three stories are about synagogues in trouble, helped out by one current and two former cops; two stories concern lawyers struggling with difficult clients; one is about a present-day therapist and another about an ancient Israelite judge.

[book] DEATH AND STRUDEL by Dorothy and Sidney Rosen.
Hardcover - 225 pages (September 2000) Academy. Belle Appleman, a Tiddish inflected speaker of English, a young widow, is working at a neighborhood pharmacy in Boston during the US Depression. A customer enters, and collapses - the victim of a quack abortionist. The heroine that she is, she crusades to bring him to justice.

[book] DEATH AND BLINTZES. A belle Applebaum Mystery by Dorothy and Sidney Rosen.
Paperback - 200 pages (June 1998) Academy. It is the mid-1930s-the time of the Great Depression. F.D.R. is in the White House, Hitler has risen to power in Germany and, in Boston, something not quite kosher is going on at the Classic Clothing Company. But so what if it is? Belle Appleman, the young widow recently hired for the Pants department, knows how lucky she is that her friend from Evening English, Nate Becker, was able to get her the job at all. Belle is with Nate, taking a Sunday walk on the Esplanade, when the sight of a body in the Charles River makes her drop her maple walnut ice cream cone and send Nate for the police. But it is Nate who identifies the drowned woman: she is Jeanette Laval, show steward in Pants, object of frequent whistles from the store's male employees and well-founded gossip from the female staff. Belle, a long-time devotee of True Detective magazine, jumps at the chance to put her acquired knowledge into practice, and in spite of warnings from her friends, she embarks on a search for the killer. Belle soon learns that "detectiving" can be dangerous, but that doesn't stop her from shooting her questions at everyone from the boss's son's fiancée to the victim's mother. She also has more personal reasons for her nosiness-is the union's business manager, "a regular Nelson Eddy," romancing her because of her charms or with some ulterior purpose? Not locked doors, attempts on her life, plant politics nor union strife-not even another murder-can dissuade the determined Belle. The authors have wonderfully evoked those contentious and colorful times and created a warm and memorable character in the irrepressible Belle Appleman, garment worker, union member and sleuth.

[book] The Big Silence. An Abe Lieberman Mystery by Stuart M. Kaminsky.
Hardcover - 288 pages (December 2000). Abe Lieberman, a Chicago policeman, and his Irish partner, Bill Hanrahan, are known as the Rabbi and the Priest by colleagues. Lieberman juggles cases, his partner's depression, and family problems as the mysteries get solved.

by Eric Jordan
Can spies write? I am not here to judge. Jordan, a former spy and advisor to Reagan writes a thriller about an Israeli plot to elect a U.S. President. Brenda Straus, an FBI Agent is on their trail, attempting to find which candidate is on the Israeli payroll.

by Nancy J. Cohen

In PERMED TO DEATH, #1 in the series of Bad Hair Day mysteries, sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when the old lady croaks in the shampoo chair. If that isn't enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman's coffee creamer! Figuring she'd better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects.

By Nancy J. Cohen

HAIR RAISER is #2 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Savvy stylist Marla Shore helps her cousin Cynthia promote Taste of the World, a fund-raiser benefiting Ocean Guard, a coastal preservation society. Someone is sabotaging the gala event which is to be held at a Fort Lauderdale seaside estate. The stakes rise when a trip to the Bahamas turns up a dead body . Marla lands herself in trouble with handsome Detective Vail when she tracks the killer.

by Nancy J. Cohen

MURDER BY MANICURE, book #3, is due out in December 2001. Hairstylist Marla Shore is chewing her nails over her latest dilemma. She's joined a fitness club to get in shape, but more than her abs tighten when a member is murdered. To complicate matters, Detective Dalton Vail disapproves of the charade she's playing to help a friend. She'd better polish her act, or she'll be the next one who ends up in the dead file. .

[book] Wandering Stars : An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction by Jack Dann (Editor), Isaac Asimov (Introduction)
Paperback - 224 pages 1st jewish edition (April 1998).
Being that Clyde Crane Campbell, Steven Speilberg, Isaac Asimov, Rod Serling, and Robert Sheckley were and are Jewish, is it any wonder that there is a collection of Jewish Sci-fi? The classic first collection in its genre, "Wandering Stars" reminds readers that many are still studying, still suffering, still making jokes and myths, and still trying to figure out what it means to be Jewish--even in science fiction and fantasy. A 25th anniversary classic reprint. It includes stories like: "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi"; "The Golem of California "; "Unto the Fourth Generation" by Isaac Asimov,; "Look, You Think You've Got Troubles" about a Jewish girl who marries a martian; "The Dybbuk of Mazel Tov IV"; "Gather Blue Roses" about the holocaust; bernard Malamud's "The Jewbird"; and many other
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[book] Do or Die (An Inspector Green Mystery)
by Barbara Fradkin

2000. When a popular university student from a wealthy family is found stabbed to death in an academic library, tenacious police inspector Michael Green is called in. As he sifts through the evidence, several suspects emerge. Was the killing a crime of passion and revenge or a consequence of competition and ambition in the cut-throat world of university politics? Putting his reputation and his rocky marriage on the line, Green is determined to uncover the truth behind this bizarre killing, at any cost.. Click to read more.

[book] Great Tales of Jewish Fantasy and the Occult
by Joachim Neugroschel
Neugroschel has compiled and edited 31 tales of Jewish fantasies, including The Dybbuk by Ber Hotovitz; The King and The Wise Man and four other tales from the mind of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav; TheTower of Rome by Ansky (Rapoport); The Three Wedding Conapies by Peretz; The Golem by Yudl Roseberg; In The Wine Celler by Der Nister (Kahanovitch); in addition to stories by Peretz, Kyulbak; Moykher-Sforim (S.Y. Abramovitch); IJ Trunk; and Bergelson. The book closes with the Tale of the Seven Beggars (Nahman).

[book] Little Miss Evil: A Nick Hoffman Mystery by Lev Raphael
Hardcover - 256 pages. Nick Hoffman gets an endowed chair at State U. of Michigan. There is a lot of back biting, resentment, hate, and green envy in the English department. Then come the death threats, and the President of the Univ. wants to set up a White Studies Department. Then comes the murder...
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[book] Dead Air by Rochelle Majer Krich
Hardcover - (March 2000). Krich, 52 and already a grandmother of 4, is an observant Jewish woman, author of nine books, and a teacher at a Yeshiva in LA, writes of the return of Detective Jessica Drake of the Los Angeles P.D.. But guess what? Detective Drake discovers that her mother was a hidden Jewish child who survived the Shoah Holocaust, so Krich enrolls in a class taught by an Ortho rabbi, and also explores the issue of reparations, while at the same time trying to save her friend, a radio "therapist", from a stalker.
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[book] Never Nosh a Matzo Ball: A Ruby the Rabbi's Wife Mystery by Sharon Kahn
Hardcover - 256 pages (March 2000). Who says Chicken soup is good for you? In some cases it can be the Jewish strychnine and not the penicillin. Kahn, author of FAX ME A BAGEL, returns to Eternal Texas and Ruby Rothman, the widow of the rabbi. Rebbitzen Rothman is helping the synagogue raise money by selling frozen matzo balls, when the local personal trainer is found dead at the gym with a matzo ball in hand. Can it be related to the current rabbi's infatuation with another gym employee? Lt. Lundy teams up with Rothman to solve the case. A very funny mystery, especially when something seems unkosher at the gym.
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[book] More Wandering Stars; An Anthology of Outstanding Stories of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction by Jack Dann
Paperback - 208 pages (November 1999) Jewish Lights Publishing.
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[book] Mystery Midrash: An Anthology of Jewish Mystery and Detective Fiction by Lawrence W. Raphael (Editor). Preface by Joel Siegel (ABC-TV).
Paperback - 200 pages (July 1999) Jewish Lights Publishing.
A Yiddishe Kop, I know... but a Yiddishe Cop?
Will dvar mysteries replace dvar torahs on Shabbat morn?
Will parents stop hoping their child will be a doctor or a lawyer, and hope for a Jewish cop of detective?
What is midrash? Isn't it a deep investigation of the text in order to learn more about it, and piece things together, to compare various texts and clues? Isn't that what a P.I. (Private Investigator) does, too? In this book are 13 original stories by notable mystery writers. Gur contributes "Kaddish", a mystery about a secular Jew who must console a dead rabbi's family by helping them focus on the rabbi's goodness and not the alleged, scandalous events surrounding his death. In "Bread of Affliction" by Michael Kahn (author of the Rachel Gold series, Sheer Gall, Grave Designs), Chicago Attorney Rachel Gold must use her knowledge of Pesach to solve a mystery surrounding a contested will. Richard Fliegel, creator of the Jewish detective, Shelly Lowenkopf ("A Minyan for the Dead"), writes in "A Final Midrash" about four rabbi's who help a detective solve a murder that one of them has committed. Other contributors include: Toni Brill, Howard Engel, Stuart Kaminsky, Faye Kellerman, Ronald Levitsky, Ellen Rawlings, Shelly Singer, Bob Sloan, Janice Steinberg, and James Yaffe. I am was not used to reading mysteries prior to reading this book, but I think this anthology has sparked that "Pintelye Mystery".
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[book] Murder Duet by Batya Gur
Paperback - 328 pages (August 1997).
Add Murder Duet; A musical case by Batya Gur, A murder mystery filled with classical music. Michael Ohayon is an Israeli policeman, Chief superintendant of Jerusalem. He is divorced and lonely, and trained in medieval History prior to this job. Then he meets his upstairs, single parent, neighbor, Nita van Gelden, a concert cellist. A relationship begins, but then her father a famed musician) and her brother (violinist) are murdered. Is Nita a prime suspect?
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[book] Days of Cain by J. R. Dunn
Paperback - 328 pages (August 1997).
Gaspar James is a "monitor" whose job is to guard the historical integrity of the 24th century. As the story traces its path across millennia, Gaspar is faced with a heartbreaking moral dilemma. Should he travel back in time to 1943 to save someone from Auschwitz. An intriguing time travel novel that plunges the reader into a riveting tale of love, life, and the awesome responsiblity of choice.
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[bookcover] [bookcover] Nursery Crimes. A Mommy Track mystery by Ayelet Waldman.
June 2000. Hardcover - 224 page. My favorite mystery this year, or maybe since The Happy Hollister's series (hehe). This is the start of a new mystery series featuring Juliet Applebaum, a public defender turned stay at home mom (She's 8 months pregnant and has a 2 year old). The daughter of a Slippery Rock State grad, Juliet is bored with play dates and trips to the park, until she starts investigating the murder of the principal of Hollywood's hottest, super hottest, preschool. Was it murder or an accident? Could it have been one of the competitive moms who murdered him?
And guess what?? The author, Ayelet Waldman, is a former Federal public defender, Harvard Law grad, and wife to our favorite short story author... Michael Chabon (hey! Bring back the Nathan stories from A Model World). But more importantly, the mother of three, I think, is an alum of Kfar Blum. So buy da' book and read it concurrently with the paperback edition of "The Blessings of a Skinned Knee."

[bookcover] The Big Nap (a Mommy-Track Mystery.)
by Ayelet Waldman.
June 2001. Second in a series. Pub Weekly wrote, "Juliet Applebaum, L.A. public defender turned stay-at-home mom, returns for a second amusing but poignant adventure mixing child-rearing and sleuthing ... Four-month-old Isaac isn't sleeping much, and neither is his mother, while dad is busy getting the pilot for a new TV series ready." (He seems to spend more time at work with an attractive producer than he does at home.) "A chance encounter with a Hasidic storekeeper, Nettie Tannenbaum, brings Juliet temporary relief, when Nettie recommends her niece, Fraydle Finkelstein, as a babysitter. Fraydle works wonders with Isaac and three-year-old Ruby, but next day goes missing. Could Fraydle's disappearance have something to do with her family belonging to a strict religious group, the Satmar Hasidim, and her parents having arranged a marriage for her? Juliet saw Fraydle chatting with a young Israeli named Yossi, but the girl vehemently denied that he was her boyfriend. When the Finkelstein family refuses to involve the police, Juliet travels to Brooklyn, where she wangles a meeting with the family of Fraydle's intended husband. The surprising truth of what happened to Fraydle, however, lies back in Los Angeles. Drawing sharp contrasts between the world of conservative Judaism and Juliet's more liberal Hollywood life, Waldman has given her heroine a compelling story befitting her intelligent, witty voice." Click cover for more info.

[bookcover click me for more info] A Playdate With Death (a Mommy-Track Mystery, if Nancy Drew were a mother of two.)
by Ayelet Waldman.
June 2002. Third in a series. When Bobby Katz, Juliet Applebaum's personal trainer, dies, Juliet (with 2 kids) sets out to solve the murder. Was it a suicide? Why is her son Isaac so interested in a toy gun? Is it heredity? Hehehe. Click cover for more info.

[book] Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
Hardcover - 368 pages (July 1999).
This is the first of a series of mysteries to be set in the City of Light. In this novel, we meet Aimee Leduc, a forensic computer specialist who must decipher an encrypted photo from the 1940's. She must then deliver it to Lili Stein who resides in the historically Jewish district of Paris, the Marais. Upon her arrival at Ms. Stein home however, Aimee finds Lili murdered with a swastika carved in her forehead. Thus we embark on a mystery to solve the mruder in which Aimee must uncover secrets from Paris' Vichy past, and dredge up facts that many would like to leave buried. A great mystery. Click to read more.
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[book] Literary Murder: A Critical Case by Batya Gur, Dalya Bilu (Translator)
A shocking double murder at Israel's top academic institution brings Superintendent Michael Ohayon to the scene to probe the nature of creativity and unravel the mystery. "A complex mystery set in an unusual, well-developed milieu with a full cast of multidimensional characters.
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[book] Murder on a Kibbutz by Batya Gur
The acclaimed Israeli detective from The Saturday Morning Murder and Literary Murder returns to solve another baffling case. When the beautiful and strong secretary of a kibbutz is poisoned, Michael Ohayon must penetrate this insular world to find out what in this supposedly egalitarian society would drive someone to murder.
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[book] The Saturday Morning Murder: A Psychoanalytic Case by Batya Gur, Dalya Bilu (Translator)
When Dr. Eva Neidorf is found dead on the morning she is to give a lecture to the Jerusalem Psychoanalytic Society, Chief Inspector Michael Ohayon investigates, revealing, along the way, intimate details about his own life.
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[book] Planet of the Jews by Philip Graubart (or should we say Rabbi Philip Graubert)
Paperback - 300 pages (June 1999).
Meet Judah Loeb. He is a comic book editor in NYC, who, with the help of a Hassidic couple, writes the story of Jews who enter the galut of outer space to escape anti-Jewish thugs. The story is a hit, and more stories about Jews in space are created, like Jews who time travel, etc. Then Judah Loeb's Hassidic friends come for a visit to deliver the final chapter of the sequel, and....
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[book] Death in A City of Mystics by Janice Steinberg
The mother is Margo Simon has started to study Kabbalah and religion in Israel. She is poisoned; Margo rushes to her hospital bedside. Later, a rabbi is murdered. The radio reporter, Margo picks up the trail and begins to investigate the happenings in Safed, and a growing rift among the haredi of Israel.
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[book] O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
Hardcover - 336 pages (June 1, 1999) Nineteen year old Mary Russell, a student of Sherlock Holmes, disappears in Palestine in the Winter of 1918, as they are investigating a case for Sherlock's smarter older brother, Mycroft. There is a plan to destroy the British and General Allenby. Is it the Ottoman's, the Arab's, the Jews? Or is it a loner? This is a suspenseful mystery that depicts Palestine so clearly that you would swear that the book is not fiction. Click to read the extensive reviews.
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[book] Sheer Gall by Michael Kahn
Mass Market Paperback - 368 pages (June 1998). The fourth novel to feature Rachel Gold finds the St. Louis, MO lawyer up to her neck in conspiracy and intrigue. Evidence found at the crime scene where one of her clients is killed points to the victim's husband as the murderer, but Rachel is unconvinced. Her subsequent investigation uncovers a variety of suspects fuming with motives, a business venture involving the pharmaceutical industry, and people who want her dead... Click to read the extensive reviews.
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[book] A Minyan for the Dead by Richard Fliegel
An entertaining thriller starring Jewish ex-cop Shelley Lowenkopf. After leaving the force, Lowenkopf begins making a killing as a private eye. And when he and his partner Max Pfeiffer attend a memorial service at the synagogue, the service is cut short when the rabbi is arrested--on suspicion that he murdered the woman for whom they are praying. Click to read more.
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[book] Hard-Boiled : Great Lines from Classic Noir Films by Peggy Thompson
Paperback - 132 pages (March 1996).
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[book] Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir by Eddie Muller
Paperback - 208 pages (May 1998).
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[book] An Accidental Murder : An Avram Cohen Mystery by Robert Rosenberg
Hardcover - 288 pages (January 1999) Simon & Schuster. When Jerusalem detective Avram Cohen publishes his memoirs, they provoke a journey into his past and illustrate why this complex, thoughtful man "makes a wonderful resonant hero" Nissim Levy is found dead, and his mentor, Avram Cohen is next on the hit list. Avram vows to find the psychopathic killers, even if it means infiltrating the Russian mob in Israel or traveling to Frankfurt Germany. Click below to read longer reviews.
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[book] Crimes of the City by Robert Rosenberg
Mass Market Paperback - 336 pages (October 1997) . In a holy city, even saints can be suspects... It was the time of the intifada, a season of hatred and fear in the city called Jerusalem, the City of Peace... Criminal Investigations Department Commander Avram Cohen is one of the watchmen at its gates, barring them to criminals and the insane. One man, who is either--or both--slips past and in the midst of chaos commits a terrible double murder. Slaughtered are two Russian nuns, mother and daughter, members of the Russian Orthodox convent in Ein Kerem. The KGB baby-sitter for the Red Russian mission in the Holy Land is embarrassed, the police are embarrassed, the Knesset is embarrassed--even the Prime Minister exerts pressure for a quick solution. Avram Cohen, known for his toughness, feared for his temper, a man who has left belief in God behind in Dachau, tracks the killer through every sector of the city from the Dead Sea to the Temple Mount while zealots plot and politicians make deals. Combining the police procedural with the fast-paced suspense of a spy thriller, the investigation--based on an actual double murder--reveals the soul of a great detective and the secret worlds of an ancient city.
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[book] The Thirteenth Hour by Barbara Sofer
Softcover - 339 pages . Deborah Stern is an American-born biologist living in Jerusalem and working in a hospital. After she witnesses a terrorist attack (remember the bombings after Rabin's assassination), Stern signs up for a self-defense course, never realizing that she has been chosen for a special assignment.... Raba Alhassan, a Muslim woman from the States returns to Jericho, never suspecting that someone close to her is responsible for a devastating terrorist attack.... Each is about to be recruited for a deadly, secret mission, and find themselves unlikely allies in a growing web of violence that threatens their families, their heritage, and their lives. In the words, of Amazon, "Casual details, such as "In Jerusalem, three ambulances always meant a catastrophe," add to the story's heart-wrenching realism"
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[book] Blood Money by Rochelle Majer Krich
Hardcover - 341 pages (February 1999). Jesse Drake, the Los Angeles detective, isn't new to the ways of a cop. She knows personal involvement can compromise a case, but when an elderly man discovered murdered in the park is found to be a Holocaust survivor, she can't help but invest more of herself than usual in the investigation. Her own recently uncovered Jewish background helps forge her commitment to the old man, whose life spins out before her on tapes he made about his wartime experiences. Note to readers: The story of the man is based in part on Krich's own father's wartime experiences. Krich is the chair of the English department at Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles. Click to read more.
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[book] Fertile Ground by Rochelle Majer Krich
Mass Market Paperback - 404 pages (March 1999). In her most pulsating suspense novel to date, the acclaimed author of "Speak No Evil" and "Angel of Death" tackles a timely and controversial issue: fertility procedures. When her fiance, the head of a prestigious fertility clinic, goes missing, a young doctor unearths a complex labyrinth of greed, deceit, and cover-ups to get to the bottom of his disappearance. Click to read more.
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[book] Speak No Evil by Rochelle Majer Krich
Paperback - 352 pages (February 1997) The award-winning author of Where's Mommy Now? presents a suspense novel featuring young attorney Debra Laslow, an Orthodox Jew who finds herself both a suspect and a target when four of her colleagues are murdered. Click to read more.
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[book] Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman
On Sunday, Rabbi David Small uncovers a Passover plot than undeniably raises more than Four Questions -- threatening to ruin not only his holiday seder but his role as leader of Bernard's Crossing's Jewish community. But there's no time to appeal to a Higher Source when one of his temple board members, a businessman, is rumored to be pushing drugs and all the facts point to a group of teenagers as accessories -- to murder.
Click here for more information on SUNDAY The Rabbi Stayed Home
Click here for more information on MONDAY The Rabbi Took Off
Click here for more information on TUESDAY The Rabbi Saw Red
Click here for more information on WEDNESDAY The Rabbi Got Wet
Click here for more information on THURSDAY The Rabbi Walked Out
Click here for more information on FRIDAY The Rabbi Slept Late
Click here for more information on SATURDAY The Rabbi Went Home
Click here for more information on The Day The Rabbi Resigned
Click here for more information on One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross
Click here for more information on Someday The Rabbi Will Leave
Click here for more information on Conversations With Rabbi Small
Click here for more information on That Day the Rabbi Left Town

[book] Red White and Blue by Susan Isaacs
Hardcover - 407 pages (October 1998) Harpercollins. The story of Special Agent Charlie Blair, a stereotypical westerner boot wearer who is infiltrating Wrath, a white supremacist group in Wyoming. Little does he know that he is the great grandson of Dora and Herschel Blaustein. He meets up with a young, liberal Jewish News reporter, Lauren Miller, who is in Wyoming researching these groups and trying to find why they are so fixated on Jews.
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If you are wondering about Israeli Science Fiction, I haven't posted any listings, cuz I haven't found any translations yet. Be on the lookout for "The Road to Ein Charod" about a man who escapes a future military dictatorship in Israel; "be-Luz" by Jacob Cohen, about a secret city of immortals; "Dani-Din The Boy who was invisible" by Or Sareeg; "The Emperor of the Purple Planet (Kochav Segol)" by Bansh; Benjamin Tamuz's "Jeremiah's Inn" is about an Israel in the future that is ruled as a theocracy by the haredim;

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