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A Rabbi as Paladin

For Whom the Shofar Blows Book Cover For Whom the Shofar Blows
Rabbi Ben 1,2,3
Marvin J Wolf
thrillers , mysteries, religious
Rambam Press; 2 edition
October 1, 2013
358

Rabbi Ben, hero of For Whom the Shofar Blows and A Scribe Dies in Brooklyn, is back. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times—newly-engaged, Ben is in Pittsburgh for a medical procedure when he passes out in the street. He comes to in the home of Abby Silverblatt—the older sister of his ninth-grade girlfriend. Ben had saved her son from being attacked by school bullies. Invited to services at the Sanoker Shul, Abby’s tiny synagogue, Ben is asked to give a guest sermon—their Rabbi Geltkern, has disappeared. Abby’s wife Yolanda, a Pittsburgh cop, along with Abby and Stan Bernstein (who helps run the shul) ask Ben to look into Geltkern’s disappearance. Oh, and could he fill in for their rabbi while he’s at it? Ben just wants to take it easy, but how can he say no? Sifting through the clues of Geltkern’s disappearance, Ben discovers unusual goings-on at the synagogue. Papers are missing, a mysterious motion-detection camera alerts someone on the outside when the building is occupied, and an intruder visits the premises. When Bernstein is found dead in his office, his files stripped bare, Ben knows he’s touched a nerve. The more Ben uncovers, the less it makes sense—until he begins to suspect that perhaps Geltkern isn’t really a rabbi. Using Talmudic logic, Ben pieces together the puzzle, and comes up with millions of reasons why someone would want him out of the picture. With the help of a bowling alley’s oversexed accountant looking to score a strike with our red-haired hero, Ben unravels an elaborate plot that goes back to Sanok, Poland on the eve of World War II, and beyond. It is a far, far better thing that he does, than he has ever done.

A review for the 3 books currently in the series. When will book 4 be published please?

For Whom the Shofar Blows (1)

A Scribe Dies in Brooklyn (2)

A Tale of Two Rabbis (3)

I enjoyed reading M-9 so much that I checked the author out. Marvin J Wolf has also written real crime and other non-fiction, but I found a really enjoyable 3 book series (so far) about Rabbi Ben the Rabbi without a Schul but acting as a Paladin, as he puts it. This being a trouble shooter for various Rabbis and their Congregations in and around America.

I would put these 3 as 4.5 stars. The first 2 better than the 3rd but still very good reading. Some extremely interesting points about the way the Jewish religion is practiced in the US – more reform – (I was brought up Orthodox), especially the fact that women were permitted to handle the Torah and read even if not an official Reform Synagogue, but yet with some religious things that I was not aware of.   But then I’m not a Rabbi! So helpful for those who want to know more about the Jewish faith – I particularly liked the explanation that Jewish people don’t need Confession and Atonement , as life is all about doing good and atoning for doing wrong immediately – helping others through deeds and living a ‘good’ life.

I am waiting for book 4 to come out – clearly the author has ideas on what it is to be like but has got side-tracked into writing M-9 etc etc.

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What happens when blood makes you sick

Adventures of a Vegan Vamp: Book Cover Adventures of a Vegan Vamp:
Volume 1 (Vegan Vamp Mysteries)
Cate Lawley
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, cosy
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (23 Nov. 2017)
23 Nov 2017

Undead and vegan? Not the afterlife this girl had planned. Waking up thin is one thing. But waking up gaunt, hangry,and undead makes for a very bad day. Mallory's killer better hide, because she's just discovered blood, meat, and dairy don't agree with her, and a future with no cheese is grim indeed. She's out to find her killer...and maybe a vegan cheese that doesn't melt her nose hairs. Click to see how Mallory conquers a killer hunger while hunting a deadly vampire.

A Vegan Vamp?!

I so much enjoyed this tale that I read the following 3 stories in the series plus the 2 novellas. Still not a 5 star rating but enjoyable romps through just what happens when a vampire can’t stand the taste of blood and cannot digest it either. So how does she take in nutrition? Protein shakes with a mixture of vegetables etc to ensure she gets the necessary minerals etc.

Each book leads onto the next with a cliff-hanger and with the 2 short stories lying in the middle and intersecting – covering some of the same time periods but other aspects.

They are cosy murder mysteries, with magic, witches, political intrigues and lots of power plays. Living a long time gives vampires lots of time to plot it seems…

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Yup, it’s true what they say about spies…

Spy Girl Book Cover Spy Girl
Spy Girl
Jillian Dodd
young adult mysteries
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(17 Mar. 2018)

Can one girl save the world? From USA Today bestselling author Jillian Dodd comes the first two books in a sizzling new series filled with action and adventure. Fans of The Selection and The Hunger Games will discover a heart-pounding thrill ride of espionage and suspense set in glittering high society. 
An eighteen-year-old covert agent is pulled out of training before graduation by Black X, a espionage group so secret even the President of the United States doesn't know it exists. For her first mission, she must go undercover as the long-lost daughter of a recently deceased billionaire, infiltrate high society, and protect the Prince of Montrovia from assassination. But Prince Lorenzo is known as the Playboy Prince for a reason and his sensuality and charisma add a whole other level of complication to her mission. She knows that her every move is being watched, but what she doesn’t know is that the Prince is just a chess piece in a bigger game that will have world-wide ramifications. And that Blackwood Academy, the place she has called home for the past six years has secrets of its own.

Spy girl

Books 1-3

Something different in stories.

An ultra black ops organisation and school exists (the school takes you from 12 upwards) and trains you in the dark arts of lethality, plus hacking, plus… a lot more that you really shouldn’t know about. Especially at 12 years old.

In book 1 we meet a playboy prince and our spy girl is asked to seduce as one of her dark arts well practiced at school. And so the stories continue.

I liked book 1 and so read 2 and then 3, but then I got rather bored as the stories were beginning to get boring as we had had some denouements etc.

Overall 3 stars.

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Curvy wins

Fat Girl Book Cover Fat Girl
(Romance in Reheboth #1)
KL Montgomery
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
(5 April 2015)

Fresh ink on her divorce papers and a new job on the horizon. Forty is right around the corner. The time is ripe for reinvention, and Claire Sterling is tired of being the Fat Girl. With the help of her gay best friend, therapist, a new fitness regime and lots of wine and snark, Claire sets out to find her happily ever after.

Will she get the body and the man of her dreams, or is she forever destined to be the Fat Girl?

I have 2 essential points to make:

  1. always wear 2 bras when undertaking sport – even the slimmest with small boobs do I’ve noticed. And make sure they are proper sports bras too.
  2. build up the exercise slowly. Only add when it becomes easy.

What is curvy and what is slim is one of the biggest dilemmas in a women’s life today. I just read an article by someone about the No Diet way of eating – she reckons that we don’t need to diet – and then proceeds to give us instructions on how to eat, when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. If anything is a diet that is – and her own weight just scrapes into the healthy range at 18.7 (% fat), so whilst she has some good ideas – it’s still a diet to reduce weight to the lowest you ‘should be’ to be considered healthy.

I think she has a point about calories though, as counting them makes you feel guilty the whole time. And that is what we have here. Another book where the heroine is overweight and has struggled all her life to lose weight and she has a mother who remains extremely thin – but eats nothing – and makes her feel guilty because she eats. And constantly reminds her of her weight – which is not the way to go of course.

And then we do have a romance. But will he still love her if she loses weight?

I did enjoy the book even though the storyline was not really new. It was nice take on this trope with fun and humour and a nice heroine you feel for.

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A goddess for the different city

Sin City Goddess Book Cover Sin City Goddess
Barbra Annino
Fiction, fairytale, occult, thriller, crime
Thomas and Mercer
2013
279

“It was hotter than Hades' closet in Las Vegas, and brighter than a Zeus-fueled lightning bolt.”Goddess Tisiphone, Avenger of Murder, spends her days playing poker in the underworld, far away from mortals - and all the terrible mistakes they make. But when her sister turns up missing, Tisi reluctantly agrees to bring her sister back from the most unholy place in the world: Las Vegas.Teamed up with Archer Mays, a recently deceased - and easy on the eyes - FBI agent, the anger-prone deity must keep her temper long enough to battle demons, save her sister . . . and unravel a plot sinister enough to destroy the realm of god and man forever.From the author of the enchanting Stacy Justice mystery series comes the highly anticipated first book in her new Secret Goddess series: a book that proves hell hath no Fury, because she's in Las Vegas.

            This story had some good ideas with new gods and goddesses and demons for me – not come across them but willing to believe they are in the pantheons.

But that said I found the story style was rather pedestrian and thus did not inspire me to research these gods etc.

I did rather like the idea of Dionysius being behind the idea of building Las Vegas in the desert, and some of the minor deities taking part in LV shows.

I thought it lacked humour and/or snarky conversation and characterisation.                              

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