Page 212 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Raphael
204
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MumboJumbo.
New York: Pocket, 1991.
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Dark Swan.
New York: St. Martin’s, 1994.
Wow! Let me tell you about an amazing, and not too well-known
series. It stars a children’s book illustrator (Calista Jacobs) who lives in
Cambridge where her deceased husband was a world-famous physicist
at Harvard. (He is killed early on in the first book.) Her teenage son is
practicing to be a world-class computer wiz and would-be detective.
She is immensely talented, beautiful, extremely intelligent and a great
cook. In fact, there is nothing that she cannot do (including solving
mysteries). The plots are a bit predictable, but there is a great deal to
interest any reader. Calista manages to struggle with religious issues in
each one of her plots and tells us that they even tried Hebrew school
for her son. (Did I mention astronomy, art history, archeology and the
Southwest? It’s here also.)
K
och
, E
dward
I. (w ith H
erbert
R
esn icow
)
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Murder at City Hall.
NY: Kensington, 1995.
Here is ‘hizonner’ (Ed Koch) as both author and protagonist, inves­
tigating the murder of a real estate developer. Clever, fast-paced, with
an unabashed hero.
L
ove
, W
illiam
F.
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The Fundamentals ofMurder.
New York: Fine, 1989.
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The Chartreuse Clue.
New York: Fine, 1990.
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Bloody Ten.
New York: Fine, 1992.
This series stars wheelchair-bound Bishop Regan and his special as­
sistant (ex-New York cop, Dave Goldman) who reside in a New York
City brownstone and closely imitate the Nero Wolfe and Archie
Goodwin team. Written by one of the non-Jews on this list, these
books by Love do not demonsgtrate a good ear for dialogue and much
of Love’s plots is very predictable, but if you really and truly like Rex
Stout, you may enjoy Love.
M
eyers
, M
aan
.
-
The Dutchman.
New York: Bantam, 1993.
The husband and wife team of authors set this story in the Dutch
settlement of New Amsterdam, shortly after the Jews were permitted
to settle. They try hard to re-create the atmosphere of the times and a
bit of the history of early Jewish settlement through the difficult life of
one of the Jewish residents (Racquel Mendoza). Much of the dialogue
is forced and too many of the observations about the time are pedantic,
but the mystery holds up nicely to the very end.