- Series: Rabbi Small Mystery S. (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: I Books (April 30, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743434870
- ISBN-13: 978-0743434874
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 4.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 310 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,144,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Friday the Rabbi Slept Late (Rabbi Small Mystery S.) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2002
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From Library Journal
Kemelman's 1964 mystery launched the Rabbi David Small series and snagged an Edgar for best first novel. The plot finds the rabbi investigating the murder of a nanny no more than a stone's throw from his synagogue. His investigation, however, turns up heaps of evidence pointing to the killer's being him.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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I thought that as a non-Jew I had a rather good idea of the Jewish religion -- even better than many young agnostic Jews -- so I wasn't really expecting to learn much about Judaism. I don't like fiction that is wrapped around ideology or facts that the author wants to convey in order to make them more palatable to the reader, in the way that an unpleasant pill is hidden in piece of something tasty in order to get children to take their medicine, and this book did not do that. Rather what I learned about the Talmudic tradition arose organically from a pleasant story, and I was rather pleased to have learned it.
The actual plot itself moves slowly and deliberately, making me feel at times a nostalgia for a slower paced lifestyle and also, at times, a bit impatient with some of the details. The Rabbi's way of solving the death is in the style of the Miss Marple sleuths. Much of it comes from his observation of life, and understanding of people's motivations. As the story progresses you see why the details were included, even if they didn't directly help to solve the "investigation." The solution does not seem contrived and is satisfying, but still, this is not a book that you can't put down once you pick it up. Rather it is a book that you can pick up when you have a few moments to spare, or when you want to lose yourself with a nice rabbi whose knowledge of wisdom from the ages sneaks in to reveal a new way of looking at life -- maybe even your own life.
I enjoyed the book, enjoyed learning something about the appeal of the Talmud -- so much so that when I finished I went back and bought more of the series.
It does, indeed, hold up well -- at the time it was first published, it was set in our contemporary world. Today it reads as a "Historical" -- but it reads well, easily, smoothly, and is entirely engrossing.
I had forgotten enough that it did not feel like re-reading a mystery I already knew the ending to, so it was entirely suspenseful.
Here's an odd thing. When I had to put it down for a while, I looked forward to my next reading period eagerly. I want to return to these characters and their little town with all its political problems and cross-currents. These characters are full, deep, well rounded, and I've been meeting people just like them all over the place today. This is historical, yes, (the sexual mores are 1950's level) but contemporary too, as the characters and their social competitiveness could live today (sans cell phones).
If you like Mysteries - especially Amateur Detective novels - you'll probably enjoy this entire (long) series.