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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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Listeners don’t hear good things

Through the Wall Book Cover Through the Wall
Caroline Corcoran
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon
Pub Date 03 Oct 2019

Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…

Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…

A compelling, heart-racing thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder long after you turn the last page. The perfect read for fans of Louise Candlish and Adele Parks.

Sorry Caroline but i just couldn’t get into this book. I did not find it riveting or anything other than dull. So dull, I failed to finish.

Still not all books are liked by everyone, which is a good thing – a critical reader is always useful and it is good for us as readers to be critical when reading…

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True or False?

Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller Book Cover Marked for Revenge An Art Heist Thriller
(Zelda Richardson Mystery Series Book 3)
Jennifer S. Alderson
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 19 May 2019

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers. 

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

Marked for Revenge is the third book in the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. The novels in this series can be read in any order.

This is a great Art Heist Chase story. Rather unusual in its detail about how forgeries are made and set in Amsterdam as the starting town. Which gives lots of opportunities for haring across Europe easily of course. Interesting that it is the Balkans which are blamed for crime families and that the old Mafia gangs are no longer used.

I do wonder if the Dutch law about stolen art was real and if so, is it still in place? Obviously does not apply to holocaust Art but still. I did try and research the law but couldn’t find any reference to it so…

A different crime story with a good twist, and enjoyable romp into a different crime genre.

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Knit yourself a vampire?

The Vampire knitting club & Stitches and Witches Book Cover The Vampire knitting club & Stitches and Witches
Vampire Knitting Club (7 Book Series)
Nancy Warren
Ambleside Publishing
(4 Oct. 2018)

Vampires who knit
A troublemaking witch
Who killed Granny — and is she really dead?

At a crossroads between a cringe-worthy past (Todd the Toad) and an uncertain future (she's not exactly homeless, but it's close), Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to visit her grandmother. With Gran's undying love to count on and Cardinal Woolsey's, Gran's knitting shop, to keep her busy, Lucy can catch her breath and figure out what she's going to do. 

Except it turns out that Gran is the undying. Or at least, the undead. But there's a death certificate. And a will, leaving the knitting shop to Lucy. And a lot of people going in and out who never use the door—including Gran, who is just as loving as ever, and prone to knitting sweaters at warp speed, late at night. What exactly is going on?

When Lucy discovers that Gran did not die peacefully in her sleep, but was murdered, she has to bring the killer to justice without tipping off the law that there's no body in the grave. Between a hot 600-year-old vampire and a dishy detective inspector, both of whom always seem to be there for her, Lucy finds her life getting more complicated than a triple cable cardigan. 
The only one who seems to know what's going on is her cat ... or is it ... her familiar? 

First in a new series of paranormal cozy mysteries with bite!

A Vampire Kitty and knitting circles – 2 books reviewed.

So there is this nice and cosy, old fashioned, Oxford Knitting shop. With a secret.

And the secret is huge… and involves knitting and vampires.

I am surprised that students in Oxford have enough money to buy knitting wool, but I guess if they are at Oxford, and studying law, maybe they have rich parents. I am also surprised how much trade a knitting shop has – these days it’s tricky to make a living from them, the wool is so expensive, but if you know vampires, and they can knit a jumper in a night, and they have lots of cash then anything is possible.

I read the first 2 books in this series and found book 1 better than book 2, mainly because the big secret is out and thus book 2 had less to offer. I shall not be following up the series further.

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