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A collection of four novels from the New York Times–bestselling, Edgar Award–winning mystery series starring a rabbi in a tiny New England town. Spend a long weekend with the scholar and spiritual leader who watches over the Jewish community in 1960s Barnard’s Crossing, Massachusetts—and in his spare time, solves crimes. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late: A young nanny is found dead in the temple parking lot—and her purse is discovered in Rabbi David Small’s car. Now he has to collaborate with the local Irish-Catholic police chief to exonerate himself. Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry: Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, is defiled when a body is found—and the rabbi must uncover who has something to atone for. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home: When Passover is overshadowed by congregational politics and a murder at a local university, the rabbi must study the clues. Monday the Rabbi Took Off: Rabbi Small journeys to Israel for a bit of peace, but instead has to team up with an Orthodox cop to unravel a bombing case. Don’t miss these four mystery novels featuring an amateur detective who uses Talmudic logic—an introduction to the multimillion-selling series that provides both “an eye-opening snapshot of a particular time in Jewish-American history” and delightfully entertaining whodunits (Los Angeles Review of Books).
The act seemed innocent enough: A purse left behind and an acquaintance takes it so that he can return it. But when the woman is murdered, the man with the purse becomes the prime suspect. Rabbi David Small, a new member and leader of Barnard’s Crossing’s Jewish community, has few friends he can turn to for help. Fortunately, Talmudic logic is a weapon that cuts through all misunderstandings. Rabbi Small must clear his name by helping a skeptical police force to find the real killer. Published in 1964, Harry Kemmelman’s “Friday the Rabbi Slept Late” mystery launched the Rabbi Small mystery series and won an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery Novel. The religious bent of the title caused its success to surprise many. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late kicked off a series of books and television adaptations. Before writing Friday, the Rabbi Slept Late, Harry Kemelman had written a mystery story “The Nine Mile Walk” which is widely considered one of the best mystery stories ever written and is among the most frequently anthologized.
As Passover approaches, Rabbi Small contends with infighting, backstabbing, and an actual murder in this New York Times bestseller As Rabbi David Small’s 5-year contract winds down at the synagogue in Barnard’s Crossing, Massachusetts, some members of the congregation are plotting to remove him; others are whispering about starting a new temple of their own across the street. When the rabbi gets an invitation to perform Passover services at a local university, he’s eager to get away from the bickering and spend a few days on campus. But instead of peace and enlightenment, he finds a murder wrapped up in drug deals and racial tensions. From tuned-out hippies to political zealots, the college is full of potential suspects. Once again it’s up to the rabbi to draw on his deductive skills to solve the case—and avoid getting sucked into the bitter culture war—before the killer strikes again.
As he counsels a woman considering conversion to Judaism, Rabbi Small takes a break from murder mysteries to discuss the mysteries of his religion. In Conversations with Rabbi Small, the rabbi finds himself taking a well-deserved vacation at a Jewish retreat in the mountains, where he reads, plays cards, and furthers his studies, which have been languishing for too long. When the rabbi’s wife is called back to the city to deal with an illness in the family, the rabbi meets a curious young woman in the midst of a life-changing moment. Joan is a gentile who is about to marry a Jewish man, and she is desperate for answers as she determines whether or not to convert to her betrothed’s religion. In Rabbi Small, she finds an ideal teacher. In a series of impassioned conversations, the rabbi guides her through the ancient mysteries and wonders of Judaism, giving guidance to both her and her husband-to-be. With humor and compassion, the rabbi shares the history, beliefs, and traditions that have linked Jewish people across the world for millennia.
Rabbi Small has left the synagogue, but he’s not done with sleuthing, in this “engaging” mystery from the New York Times–bestselling author (New York Newsday). After three decades of dealing with temple politics and getting involved with more than a handful of murder investigations, Rabbi David Small is ready to retire from his synagogue in the cozy Boston suburb of Barnard’s Crossing. For years, his secret desire has been to permanently take up teaching, but when he finally leaves the synagogue to pursue that dream, life at a university proves more dangerous than he thought. Late at night, a notoriously ambitious college professor dies in a car wreck. The academic had been drinking heavily, but evidence suggests that the crash might not have been an accident. The local police are stumped and enlist the only detective they know whose astute eye and quick mind come from a higher power: Rabbi Small.
A bomb plot draws Rabbi Small into international intrigue while he’s vacationing in the Holy Land in this New York Times–bestselling novel David Small has spent 6 years as the rabbi of Barnard’s Crossing, Massachusetts, and every year his job has been in crisis. In desperate need of time away, he embarks on a 3-month trip to Israel. He expects a relaxing, soul-nourishing stay, but wherever Rabbi Small goes, murder follows. A bombing disrupts his vacation and the rabbi finds himself thrust into a world of terrorism and political discord in the divided city of Jerusalem. He teams up with an Orthodox Israeli cop to hunt down the terrorists before they can attack again. Dispensing Jewish wisdom as he employs his astute detective skills, Rabbi Small might be the only one who can crack this explosive case.
A reprint of the first book on the topic of the cleric as a crime-solver in fiction. Mysterium and Mystery by William David Spencer is a primary reference of meticulous scholarship for anyone interested in mystery literature.

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