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Once in a while, we get double treats on Audible--a book by a beloved author read by a favorite narrator.
This is it folks! It's hard to get better than this old series (begun in the 60's) about David Small, a young rabbi who is very conservative, and sometimes has to use his wisdom to help parishioners with his deep understanding and love of the Talmud. He uses this as his guide for helping people settle petty disagreements, but it also directs him in solving more serious situations--like murder. His crime-solving talent has led him to have a good relationship with the local police, leading them to be not-quite-a-team, but they trust each other a lot.
In this book, a non-practicing Jewish man has died in a way that appears to be suicide, and some in the congregation are alarmed at the location in a cemetery where he will be buried, which is itself--surprise--also a focus in the book, as certain people are trying to use the cemetery to bring improvements and attention to the congregation (and financial benefits to themselves). It falls to Rabbi Small to use his particular Talmudic law and wisdom to guide the police towards solving the crime.
Ok. That's the story--let me just tell you that I read all this series when they were published, and loved them then. Finding and listening to them again is such a delight--they are simply wonderful. The only thing that tops that is discovering that they have been narrated by George Guidall--someone who probably could read the phone book with such talent that I would sit and listen. If you like mysteries--and these are admittedly old, but have not been hurt by the passing of time--and you want one of the best narrators who ever reads these books, you won't get better than this!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the entire series, most of which I got from the local library, but they didn't have a copy of this one, so I downloaded it. I kept expecting the rabbi to change, but he didn't. The part I enjoyed most was learning about the various customers of Judaism and the logic of the Talmudic scholar. The one caveat I want to append to my overall positive rating is that the book is pretty dated: the language, the societal conflicts, the stereotypes are all very specific to the mid-twentieth century. If that doesn't bother you, read on; this is a clever cozy series. If it does, move on, it will drive you bonkers.
Recommend with caveat
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The USA before 9/11, a small town Eden where civil rights demonstrations are somewhere else, but class is a big issue, where business sharp practice is nasty, but does not ruin thousands of pensioners.
Rabbi David Small is a good man, albeit given to the sort of casuistry for which the Jesuits have earned expulsion from many countries on many occasions. Unlike the majority of fictional detectives he is happily, if not convincingly, married. Poor Miriam isn't daft, but seems to be satisfied with less consideration than her husband's crumpled jacket.
It's "I love Lucy" with a touch of theology and a seemly murder, great bedtime listening, told in an old fashioned American accent which is easy to follow.