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Chanuka Guilt Reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
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guilt_cover_eppic_109_x_162.jpg

Chanukah Guilt

Written by: Ilene Schneider

Reviewed by: Christine I Speakman

 

Publisher: www.swimmingkangaroo.com   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 
 

 
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