Rabbi Small returns in this New York Times–bestselling novel to investigate a mysterious death on the Day of Atonement The day before Yom Kippur, the synagogue sound system is on the blink, the floral arrangements are in disarray, and a member of Rabbi David Small's congregation—in the Massachusetts town of Barnard's Crossing—is terribly concerned with how much a Torah weighs. The rabbi is determined not to let these mundane concerns ruin his day of prayer and contemplation. But the holiest day of the Jewish year is interrupted when a member of the congregation is found dead in his car. Details emerge that suggest the man may have killed himself, but the rabbi's wife suspects murder. Which is it? Rabbi Small kicks into high detective gear to find out. His search for the culprit among the small town's cast of eccentric characters leads to nail-biting suspense in this highly entertaining and engrossing mystery.
Harry Kemelman (1908-1996) was best known for his popular rabbinical mystery series featuring the amateur sleuth Rabbi David Small. Kemelman wrote twelve novels in the series, the first of which, Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. This book was also adapted as an NBC made-for-TV movie, and the Rabbi Small Mysteries were the inspiration for the NBC television show Lanigan's Rabbi. Kemelman's novels garnered praise for their unique combination of mystery and Judaism, and with Rabbi Small, the author created a protagonist who played a part-time detective with wit and charm. Kemelman also wrote a series of short stories about Nicky Welt, a college professor who used logic to solve crimes, which were published in a collection entitled The Nine Mile Walk. Aside from being an award-winning novelist, Kemelman, originally from Boston, was also an English professor.