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Diamonds for the Dead Paperback – April 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK; 1 edition (April 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073871948X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738719481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,705,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Orloff's thought-provoking debut, Josh Handleman, who's separated from his wife in San Francisco, returns home to Reston, Va., to take care of his late father's estate. Josh is shocked to learn that not only was his father, Abe, a secret multimillionaire who generously helped many charities, in particular the Reston Hebrew Home, but the fatal fall Abe took might not have been accidental. He also discovers that Abe collected diamonds, which have vanished, as well as a boarder still in the house—Kassian, a scruffy, elderly Russian overly fond of vodka. Josh is consumed with curiosity after his father's best friend, Lev Yurishenko, accuses Kassian of killing Abe. Josh's hunt for the missing diamonds and a possible killer leads to more disturbing revelations as well as some emotional healing courtesy of the sister of an old high school classmate. Likable characters more than compensate for some slow pacing. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alan Orloff is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and The Writer's Center in Bethesda, Md. He is the author of Diamonds for the Dead, an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel, and Killer Routine. Orloff earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from MIT/Sloan. He resides in northern Virginia. For more information, visit him online at: AlanOrloff.com.


More About the Author

Before Alan stepped off the corporate merry-go-round, he had an eclectic (some might say disjointed) career. As an engineer, he worked on nuclear submarines, supervised assembly workers in factories, facilitated technology transfer from the Star Wars program, and learned to stack washing machines three high in a warehouse with a forklift. He even started his own recycling and waste reduction newsletter business. Now he writes fiction.

For more info, visit www.alanorloff.com

Customer Reviews

Orloff employs subtle cliffhangers to excellent effect.
Stephen Parrish
I strongly recommend this book for book clubs as the discussion will be lively.
Mystery Review
The author has a sense of humor along with good plotting.
Janet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sue Ann Jaffarian on May 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Josh Handleman's life is in the crapper. His wife is cheating on him with his business partner and his father falls down a flight of steps and dies. At loose ends regarding his marriage and business, Josh returns to his home town in Virginia to mourn his father and regroup, only to discover his father was a man with many secrets.

Smartly written, Diamonds for the Dead isn't just a mystery, but a great character study about a man at serious crossroads in his life. Alan Orloff does a remarkable job showing realistic and often unlikeable traits in his protagonist without losing the reader's empathy for a man who is discovering people and things aren't really as he believed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Parrish on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Josh Handleman's search for his father's diamonds---and killer as well---is set against the backdrop of a homecoming. Author Alan Orloff deftly creates tension between characters who once were close friends, but haven't seen one another in years.

The protagonist is sympathetic and easy to identify with, the scenes are vivid, and conflicts abound. As in all good mysteries, the perpetrator is well integrated and doesn't reveal himself until the end. Orloff employs subtle cliffhangers to excellent effect.

I enjoyed the writing from the beginning, and after I'd sampled a couple of chapters I was unable to put the novel down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PJ Coldren VINE VOICE on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Josh Handleman finds out a great deal about his father after Abe dies. Abe was a public, and private, philanthropist. Abe was engaged. Abe had a cousin from Russia living in his basement. Abe was engaged. Abe's friend Lev is convinced that Kassian, the cousin, killed Abe. Abe collected diamonds, and they are missing. So much for Josh to process, and he's still in shock from his wife's desertion and his business going kaput.

Orloff has written a nice little mystery here. Not a fast-paced thriller, a nice traditional mystery with good characters and a good plot. You could do a lot worse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Rigod on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Josh Handleman returns to his Virginian childhood home to sit Shiva for his Father. What he finds is way more than he expects.

Just who was Abe Handleman? It becomes quickly obvious, not whom his son, Josh thought. Abe turns out to be a person of great generosity. He funded Josh's friends business projects, he housed an old Russian Jewish gentleman with nowhere else to go believing without question that they are related. He has given millions to the local Hebrew Home and wanted to fully vest a wing just for Russian Jews. There is talk of Abe's collection...diamonds.

Josh gets the house, and Kassian, the resident family member he never heard of. Even Aunt Shel speaks of an Abe that Josh, in his young manhood had never gotten to known. And, where exactly are those diamonds? The police say Abe's death was an accident, but Abe's best friends says "No, he was murdered."

We are led on a fascinating journey with Josh as he meets a Father, he truly never knew.Then we venture on a treasure hunt that may find diamonds and even a killer at the end.

This was a very good story and I will look forward to reading Mr. Orloff's other novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mystery Review on July 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Alan Orloff was nominated for a 2011 Agatha Award under the category of Best First Novel for his book, `Diamonds for the Dead." The Agatha Awards are given for mysteries written in the tradition of Agatha Christie. These books contain no explicit sex, no excessive gore or gratuitous violence. Often these books are termed "cozy mysteries" and are considered light weight. While "Diamonds for the Dead" certainly meets the Agatha criteria, it would be a mistake to consider this a lightweight book.

The author reveals in an interview (see the video attached) that he originally named the book, "Hidden Facets" because there are so many different facets to the story. Orloff has generously provided a book club discussion guide on his web site, which he warns the reader contains spoiler information. It has often been my experience that when a discussion guide is provided - it is because there are many layers of the book that can be uncovered. I strongly recommend this book for book clubs as the discussion will be lively.

Continue reading at [...]
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Format: Kindle Edition
Josh Handleman returns from the west coast and a broken marriage to Reston, Virginia to handle the arrangements for his deceased father, the victim of a tragic accident. Or was it an accident? And what about the diamond collection that Josh's father was said to have had? The story moves from surprise to surprise, as Josh tries to figure out what has happened and who is responsible. The pace is slow, but the slow development makes the plot more believable as Josh stumbles from revelation to revelation. Although there is violence, it is limited to what is required by the plot rather an end unto itself. There are problems. Josh is not especially likeable or interesting and he and his buddies seldom miss an opportunity to regress to their juvenile stage. On balance, this mystery provides a pleasant way to spend time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M Fransen on December 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
So many mysteries today are based only on plot, gore, sex, and shock factors. After reading this novel, I feel that the author does a wonderful job of understanding characters and their motivations. This is a great and quick read which will keep you hooked until the end. I live in Northern Virginia, so it was neat to read another perspective of the area and the quirks of the people around here. Each plot turn adds to the flavor of the book, and I hope that this book gains more press because it is wonderful.
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