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“Murder Is No Mitzvah: Short Mysteries about Jewish...”

Written on: 27/02/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Murder Is No Mitzvah: Short Mysteries about Jewish Occasions

Edited by Abigail Browning

Dunne, Apr 2004, $23.95, 288 pp.

ISBN: 0312325061

This is a twelve story collection that uses Jewish traditions especially holidays and special occasions as a backdrop to a mystery mostly murder. Nine of the tales appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine with six of these since 1996; two are from the 1980s and one from 1967. Alfred Hitchcock Magazine provided two entries (1995 and 1998 respectfully). While the final tale is an Arthur Conan Doyle story (not Holmes).

Each tale is fun to read as the typical Jewish event is disrupted by a crime. Most of the contributions provide insight into the Jewish religion and customs while also furbishing a fine mystery. The glossary at the end of the book describes forty to forty-five terms/foreign words used within at least in one story with simple explanations. Fans of thematic anthologies and those who want to know a bit more about Judaism inside an exciting who-done-it collection will appreciate this powerful compilation that can be savored by reading a tale or two during Pesach (the eight day Passover holiday).

Harriet Klausner

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