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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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Add all the crime fighters together and you get…

M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery Book Cover M-9: A Chelmin and Spaulding CID Mystery
Chelmin & Spaulding CID Mysteries Book 1
by Marvin J Wolf
Mystery & Thrillers , Police Procedural
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 20 Aug 2019

Who killed Kendra Farrell and left her bound, dehydrated body on a boxcar loaded with Army boots? Army CID agents Rudy Chelmin and his rookie partner, Will Spaulding, trace the train’s route back to Barstow, CA, and the Marine Corps Supply Depot. Before they can begin a joint-service investigation, they come under attack by a determined and heavily armed international gang. As they try to unwrap the mystery of Kendra’s death they must take out a sniper, escape from an RPG attack that levels a city block, and dodge a car bomb—and that’s just the first few days. To find Kendra’s killer they must learn why she was killed. As they unravel a mind-twisting snarl of nefarious, intertwined networks, they must also battle the bureaucracy—The FBI, Homeland Security, and the Barstow police want their share of the case. Then Chelmin vanishes and Spaulding has only three days to learn if his partner will suffer Kendra’s agonizing fate.

This is a complex story that might confuse so you need to keep your wits about you when reading it! I thought it was interesting in the way that the Army, Navy, FBI and local PD were interlinked in solving the murders and the rationale for them.

Keep the story straight and the various characters involved, and you will enjoy the book…

More in the series to come I hope.

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Floating or Drowning?

Woman in the Water Book Cover Woman in the Water
Katerina Diamond
Mystery Thriller Murder
Harper Collins, Avon Books

When a woman’s body is found submerged in icy water, police are shocked to find she is alive. But she won’t disclose her name, or what happened to her – even when a second body is discovered. And then she disappears from her hospital bed. Detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey follow their only lead to the home of the Corrigans, looking for answers. But the more they dig into the couple’s lives, the less they understand about them. What’s their connection to the body in the river? Why have other people they know been hurt, or vanished? And can they discover the dark truth of their marriage before it’s too late? Smart, shocking and twisty – perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Karin Slaughter.

I really thought I knew how this would end about three-quarters of the way through, but I was so wrong!

The ending is a 5 star for me, but overall, I thought the story needed tightening up and a general edit, which is why it gets a 4.

For once this police procedural demonstrates just how long it can take to solve a murder. The intricacies of police procedures that must be followed and the fact that people don’t always work through the night, but go home at 5 and come in at 9 even when they are trying to solve a murder. Much more realistic.

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No mind-altering for me!

Lavendar Lace Book Cover Lavendar Lace
A Washoe Indian, Northstar, California Mystery
by Lynn A. Dalton
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 07 Apr 2019

An 23-year old intern designed a mind altering device for the CIA. She goes to college to get her degree so she can become an agent with the CIA. A CIA operative sold Lavendar Lace's name to the Russian War Room and to the Russian Terrorists as the developer of this weapon. When Lavendar Lace goes on winter break to NorthStar skiing resort gunmen with automatic weapons try to kill her. The Russians are determined to capture Lavendar Lace and she is rescued and protected by a Washoe Indian. The CIA joins in on protecting Lavendar Lace as her mind is something the American Government wants.

I really couldn’t finish this book. I found the writing style uncomfortable and stilted.

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature.

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Middle of a Jungle: USA style

The Mammoth Murders Book Cover The Mammoth Murders
Minokee Mysteries, Book One and Two
by Iris Chacon
romantic comedy, animals
Delia L. Stewart, Miami
Pub Date: 01 Nov 2019

A blind deejay (Shepard Krausse) and an invisible librarian (Miranda Ogilvy) from a tiny, rural Florida town try to solve a double disappearance connected to a recent canoe trip. It ain't exactly "Deliverance," but there's a heap of trouble brewing fer these folks -- some of it human, some of it animal, and all of it deadly. Shep and Miranda rely on their sense of humor as they face dangerous fossil poachers -- but even that is difficult when their engagement is broken amidst a river of troubles. This is Book 2 in the Minokee Mysteries series.

Shep's Italian friend (Carlo Fratelli - cook, chauffeur, valet, & ladies man) aids the couple in their adventures. Shep's animal friend, Zeus, a huge and independent Maine Coon cat, is so clever, he sometimes seems clairvoyant.

The Coffee Ritual ladies of Minokee add their quirky personalities and folksy wisdom to help Shep & Miranda iron out the bumps in their lives. Martha, Bernice, Wyneen, and Charlotte (average age 74.3) gather every dawn on their front porches to sip their coffee while they wait for the sight of the blond Adonis (Shep) jogging past their Magnolia Street cottages.

Shepard's absurdly wealthy, snobbish, and domineering mother (Hermione Montgomery-Krausse) is always behind the scenes, attempting to direct the course of Shep's career. Hermione wants Shep to become a politician, like several of his ancestors. At the very least, she wants her son to become a television commentator. With his blindness, his noble family connections, and his golden good looks, Shepard would be recognized by future voters - which will not happen if he stays in radio.

The shy Miranda shows a surprising inner strength when confronting Shepard's officious mother, and Hermione has been forced to admire the librarian. Hermione vacillates between trying to separate Shep and Miranda or trying to marry them - on Hermione's terms.

Miranda's difficulties with Hermione are compounded when Miranda's parents arrive unannounced from Miami. Dr. Rosario Ogilvy, Miranda's mother, is a soulmate for Hermione Montgomery-Krausse, while Dr. Ezekiel Ogilvy, Miranda's father, sides with his daughter (and Hermione's son) against the two matriarchs.

The serio-comic family battle continues in the background even while Shep and Miranda risk their future and their very lives attempting to find the killers responsible for The Mammoth Murders.

I fell in love with Miranda. I am reviewing here both books one and two in the series.

 I agree her description of Shepard made him seem hot but a beard – not for me. Apparently a good set of abs though, I can see why the Ladies of Minokee liked to watch him run past.

I read book 1 and couldn’t wait to get my hands on book 2. Unfortunately for me, some of the quaintness and curiosity had gone as we now knew about Minokee and Shepard and Dave and Pietro and Miranda’s parents – although we only met them in the second book.

But the storyline is about how people should not be judged by their external appearances. It is their inner being that is important and it is this inner being of Miranda that Shepard falls in love with and brings out in her, so she stops being the Librarian Mouse and becomes the Librarian Lion instead.

And in book 2 we meet Zeus. He is a wonder. And I look forward to reading about his adventures in future books.

This is a series I shall follow.

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