The Muse Book Review Archives

Chanuka Guilt Reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Interview with Marcus Damanda by Pamela Jenewein
Loss of Innocence reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos
Audio Classes by DDP reviewed by Lea Schizas
Interview with Michael Perronne
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill reviewed by Gene Berger
Diverting the Buddha reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Launch Out Into the Deep reviewed by Mary Schneider
The Life Organizer reviewed by Alice Berger
Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Swapping Paint reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Through the Ages and The Sun is Hot reviewed by Christine Speakman


Chanukah Guilt

Written by: Ilene Schneider

Reviewed by: Christine I Speakman


Publisher:   2007

Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978 1 934041 31 4

Pages: 312
Price: $16.99 (print – US) 10pounds (print-UK) $4.99 (electronic – US)


4 out of 4 roses

I love “Chanukah Guilt”


It was recently brought to my attention that my family knows when I’m crazy about a book -- I don’t shut up about it.  I haven’t stopped talking about “Chanukah Guilt.”


Simply put this is the story of Rabbi Aviva Cohen.  She’s in her fifties, twice divorced, and lives quietly in South Jersey.  Rabbi Cohen is finally doing what she loves and enjoys her life.  All she has to do is officiate the funeral service for the disliked, self-made millionaire, William Phillips. 


A simple routine duty.


Until someone confesses to her that they killed Phillips.  Until the confessor commits suicide.  Until Rabbi Cohen discovers suicide was murder, and it was someone else who killed Phillips.


I had ten pages left and I still wasn’t sure who did the killings.  I thought I knew; I was pretty sure I had figured it out; I wasn’t totally wrong.  But it rarely takes me that long to figure out any mystery!  Thank you Rabbi Schneider!


I want more!


The characters are clearly defined and very individual.  “Chanukah Guilt” is funny when you need it to be, and realistic when it needs to be.  The family relations, both Rabbi Cohen’s and the deceaseds’ are dysfunctional and loving.  I’ve found new fiction friends.


“Chanukah Guilt” is a whodunit that weaves through family lies and secrets and doubts.  Rabbi Schneider brilliantly leaves all the clues where they can be seen, but not quite seen.  You need to turn the next page and the next just to be sure, and still there’s that little bit a doubt.


Yes, “Chanukah Guilt” is set during the time of Chanukah.  Yes, there are a few references to the Jewish tradition and its rituals (my apologies for any error in my word choices) but this is completely normal given the main character is a Rabbi.  I found the references very interesting and added depth to the characters.  These references also added a time line for the story, a pacing to the story.


Again, I want more!


“Chanukah Guilt” is a mystery for all readers.  Rabbi Ilene Schneider is an author you must add to your library.

*HIGHLRose, LargeY RECOMMRose, LargeENDEDRose, Large
Rose, Large 

Support our site and our authors by purchasing their books through our BOOKSTORE.
Have a book for review? Check out the Guidelines.
A Division of The MuseItUp Club
Horizontal Divider 1

Copyright 2005- 2008 by The Muse Book Reviews. All rights reserved.  All reviewers hold individual ownership & copyrights of any material contributed. No unauthorized usage of any published material within the Muse Book Reviews unless permission is first granted by copyright owner of said material.
Horizontal Divider 1