Rabbi Small takes a break from solving murder cases to investigate a far greater mystery: the intricacies of Judaism
In Conversations with Rabbi Small, the rabbi finds himself taking a well-deserved vacation at a Jewish retreat in the mountains, where he reads, plays cards, and furthers his studies, which have been languishing for too long. When the rabbi’s wife is called back to the city to deal with an illness in the family, the rabbi meets a curious young woman in the midst of a life-changing moment.
Joan is a gentile who is about to marry a Jewish man, and she is desperate for answers as she determines whether or not to convert to her betrothed’s religion. In Rabbi Small, she finds an ideal teacher. In a series of impassioned conversations, the rabbi guides her through the ancient mysteries and wonders of Judaism, giving guidance to both her and her husband-to-be. With humor and compassion, the rabbi shares the history, beliefs, and traditions that have linked Jewish people across the world for millennia.
“Ingenious . . . Highly recommended.” —The New York Times on Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out
“A first-rate mystery.” —The New Yorker on Friday the Rabbi Slept Late
“Vintage Kemelman—clean prose, quiet wit, absorbing characters, and revealing conversations, with David’s discourses on Judaism as fascinating as ever.” —Publishers Weekly, on That Day the Rabbi Left Town 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.