Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ready to learn about a new old series?

Today's new, old series is 
The Ruby, The Rabbi's Wife Mystery series 
by author 
Sharon Kahn 

There are 6 books in this series
and one that was never been published.

Follow the bagel crumbs as this savvy, heartwarming new series welcomes an enchanting sleuth, Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife, who dodges a cunning killer from her favorite bakery in Eternal, Texas, to the streets of New York's Lower East Side.
Ruby has been a widow for more than a year now, since the hit-and-run death of her beloved husband, Stu. She should be free to start a new life, but once a rabbi's wife, always a rabbi's wife, at least in Eternal. You never graduate.
Ruby can't even escape her least favorite member of the congregation, Essie Sue Margolis -- who wears designer clothes to take out the garbage. Ruby figures she should be safe from Essie Sue at eleven in the morning at The Hot Bagel. Wrong. Essie Sue is there in a white silk ensemble never touched by human hands. Ruby's smudged tee shirt does not impress.
Still, The Hot Bagel makes the best baked goods west of the Hudson, and Ruby's not about to miss her favorite morning fix. It comes at a higher price than fashion embarrassment, however, as Ruby soon discovers that she has more on her proverbial plate than poppy seeds. Marla, sister of the much disliked Essie Sue, goes into a convulsion and dies, leaving not only her bagels on the table but more unanswered questions than Ruby could ever have imagined. Was Marla's death an accident? Was it part of a plan? How does it fit into other unexplained deaths in the small Texas community that straddles the worlds of the plantation South and the rugged West?
In a romp through Jewish life filled with love and laughter, Ruby encounters more than mayhem. She watches in horror when the temple selection committee finally chooses a rabbi who thinks Essie Sue is the best thing since automated High Holy Day ticketing. Here comes double-trouble.
Author Sharon Kahn, who spent thirty-one years as a rabbi's wife, captures that life in a novel that is genuine and original. Beneath the irony, mystery, and humor lies a cautionary tale in which Ruby's values come shining through, and her intrepid detective work ensures that she'll live to sleuth another day.

Forget everything your mother ever told you about chicken soup -- Temple Rita's version is lethal. That's why Ruby Rothman, the low-key charmer "Publishers Weekly" calls "a welcome addition to the ranks of amateur female sleuths," is back on the case in Sharon Kahn's delightful tale of Jewish life in small-town Eternal, Texas. Life in Eternal is never dull for forty-six-year-old Ruby, recently widowed from Rabbi Stu. As the part owner of The Hot Bagel bakery and the proprietor of a computer consulting business, Ruby has plenty to keep her busy. There's also her nemesis, Essie Sue Margolis, who won't leave her alone. As new owner of the Center for Bodily Movement, formerly known as Sam's Gym, Essie Sue has enlisted all her friends and adversaries for exercise classes with her new trainer, the mysterious Bogie. Who is Bogie and where did he come from? Nobody knows much about him, except that where Bogie is concerned, Essie Sue's checkbook ink seems to flow. Speaking of cash, Essie Sue is also leading Temple Rita's fund-raising drive for a large Queen Esther statue to be erected in memory of Essie Sue's late, lamented sister Marla. And what better way to raise money than the First Annual Temple Matzo Ball Sale featuring Essie Sue's personal recipe for fat-free, salt-free matzo balls? Of course they are taste free, too. At least they aren't lethal -- or are they? Ruby soon has lots to ponder besides matzo balls, including a dead body, Rabbi Kevin's matrimonial intentions, and what's going on at the Fit and Rural Reducing Ranch, where rich California people come to experience Eternal's healthy lifestyle. Just keep them away from the Interfaith Passover Seders and the matzoballs. "Never Nosh a Matzo Ball" delivers the perfect recipe for mystery lovers -- suspense and savvy subplots, comic relief and eccentric characters, and, of course, more Ruby, a character who could only have been created by an author who was herself for many years a rabbi's wife.

Grab the Dramamine. When Essie Sue's latest fundraiser transports Ruby and the congregants of Temple Rita from Eternal, Texas, to a Caribbean cruise ship commanded by a Jewish sea captain, seasickness is the least of their worries. Essie Sue has conducted a scientific poll that would put Dick Morris to shame, revealing that her beloved Rabbi Kapstein's job approval rating has fallen to an all-time low at Temple Rita. In a last-ditch attempt to improve the rabbi's "charisma quotient" (in answer to the question "Is our rabbi as dynamic as you thought he would be?" Kevin scored "one percent"), Essie Sue decides to showcase his leadership ability by having him conduct a tour for temple members. She learns through the kosher grapevine that a long-lost cousin is currently sailing "Caribbean for Bargain Cruise Lines" -- Motto: We Pass Waters Where Others Fear to Tread -- A bargain! What could be wrong with that? And when the cruise line is willing to move cabins wholesale for fund-raising purposes, a discount deal is sealed. Though Ruby loves to travel, this is not the trip of her dreams. The Cruise from Hell begins when Professor Willie Bob Gonzales, the ship's lecturer, dies suddenly in the embarkation area, leaving a laptop full of notes on the Conversos -- Jews who became Christians to escape the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition, and who were known to have emigrated to the islands. The food is terrible -- Ruby groans from the chef's version of island delights with the flavor of yesterday's Taco Bell, and struggles with the consequences of a bargain voyage -- portholes sealed with bubblegum and nightly entertainment by Elvis impersonators. And to make things perfect,Captain Goldberg has the hots for her. Ruby manages, as always, to discern the hubris from the humor, but almost pays with her life. The good news is that she finds romance on the voyage. The bad news is that he may be a killer. Sharon Kahn, a rabbi's wife for thirty-one years, knows the territory.

Acclaimed mystery writer Sharon Kahn returns with a flavorful new crime novel set in that most unlikely of Jewish population centers, Eternal, Texas.
Ruby knows she's in for trouble when her longtime nemesis, Essie Sue, talks her into housing Essie Sue's twin cousins, Lester and Larry. The boys are in town for pre-Bar Mitzvah schooling from Rabbi Kevin Kapstein. They will be no trouble, says Essie Sue. Famous last words.
Ruby, a rabbi's widow, has never felt much sympathy for Rabbi Kevin, but that's about to change. They now have something in common: their determination to survive Lester and Larry. Whoever coined the phrase "the terrible twos" didn't know Lester and Larry, "the terrible twelves."
Kevin will teach; Ruby will house; and Essie Sue, ever the hostess, will orchestrate the grandest Bar Mitzvah feast in Temple Rita's history. And the star attraction -- besides Essie Sue, of course -- is sure to be Herman Guenther, master lox cutter, who recently moved to town from New Jersey.
But when Herman meets an untimely demise from his own slicing knife, Essie Sue's plans seem all but ruined. Not to mention Herman's. Something's strange about this murder, as Ruby is quick to discover.
Tracing the victim's roots back to Nazi-era Denmark, Ruby soon puts the lox on the platter in a chase that takes her from Eternal to Alaska to New York. She asks some poignant questions along the way and hears some shocking answers.
Sharon Kahn's witty Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife Mysteries have universal appeal, as they make us laugh at ourselves even as we watch Ruby unravel the puzzles of life. With both humor and insight, Kahn proves once again that she's at the top of her form.

Essie Sue Margolis is at it again. This time, she's organizing the reunion from hell for the Big Givers to Temple Rita in Eternal, Texas.
The reunioners are gathering at a ritzy hotel in nearby Austin to celebrate the beloved temple's history and to salute its two most important -- or is it self-important -- members: Freddie Fenstermeister, grand-nephew of Miss Rita Fenstermeister, who gave the money to establish the temple, and the temple's current leading lady, Essie Sue herself.
Ruby Rothman, whose late husband Stu was the Temple Rita rabbi, has been roped into helping Essie Sue with some of the plans. Big mistake. An Essie Sue event is sure to be full of surprises, not all of them pleasant.
Cheap but elegant is Essie Sue's motto, with an emphasis on "cheap." To save money, Essie Sue has made her own pièce de résistance -- a chopped liver mold in the shape of Texas. Imagine her shock when the mold disappears from the hors d'oeuvres table and is replaced by a body on ice.
Is the unfortunate corpse related to one of the out-of-town reunioners, or is he a complete stranger who just wandered into the Temple Rita festivities? Who had a reason to wish him dead?
With some unexpected help from Rabbi Kevin Kapstein, and from police lieutenant Paul Lundy, Ruby's soon on the trail of a killer who's also a chopped liver thief.
Meanwhile, back home in Eternal, Ruby's dog Oy Vey must learn to live with new feline friend Chutzpah, and Ruby must decide which of two special men has a place in her heart.
Rich with humor and suspense and with deep insights into the friendships and foibles of small-town congregational life, Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver? is the best yet in this captivating mystery series from one of crime fiction's most entertaining storytellers.

Agatha Award-nominated Sharon Kahn serves up a fresh batch of Chanukah chutzpah -- and murder -- on the rails, as the Temple Rita Choir travels through the Canadian Rockies in this laugh-out-loud kosher cozy.
Trouble is brewing in Temple Rita. First, the choir's upcoming excursion to Banff and Lake Louise is in serious jeopardy when sagging latke sales don't raise enough money for the scenic train trip. Resident busybody Essie Sue thinks that hiring Bitsy, an aging peroxide-blond tart of a party planner, can help solve their problems. Ruby, our widowed heroine, disagrees, and all Bitsy manages to do is spend more money the temple doesn't have on a pathetic Chanukah concert.
To make matters worse, Temple Rita's star soprano, Serena Salit, collapses right before her number. She's rushed to the hospital but later dies of heart failure. Ruby steps in quickly to support Serena's good friend Rose, a move that gets her right where she wants to be -- in the path of the gossip -- when Rose discovers some disturbing entries in Serena's electronic diary. In a file titled "Spiritual," Rose discovers secrets her friend never told her: that she was having an affair with the smarmy choir leader André and was involved in a neo-Kabbalistic cult. But what led her to write in her last entry, "They're frightening me"? And did "they" kill her?
Despite everything, Essie Sue insists the choir take their trip "in Serena's honor," and the whole Temple Rita group, minus the traumatized Rose, complies. While aboard the train, Ruby's suspicions of murder are confirmed by a call from her policeman boyfriend -- he tells her that poison, not heart failure, caused Serena's death.
Ruby considers everyone in the Temple Rita Choir a suspect -- from the tenor André to Serena's ex, the baritone -- but not even she could imagine that her trip through the Rockies would end with a body thrown from the train and a ride on the ski lift from hell. From latkes and lovers to lunatics and Lake Louise, Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Choir has everything it needs to be a great, quirky addition to this sidesplitting series.
Have you read this series?

These titles are not available in paperback.
Check with your local used book stores or online sellers.

Book 5 - WHICH BIG GIVER STOLE THE CHOPPED LIVER? are available on Kindle and Nook

Remember to check back every Thursday 
for more great Throwback cozy titles!

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Please continue reading for the solution to this week's Wednesday Whodunit.


Answer to Whodunit Wednesday

Blue Carbuncle, the Sequel - SOLUTION

   Sherman would have loved to do a full crime scene examination, but it really wasn't necessary. As soon as he'd discovered his loss, he knew the most probable suspect.

   He checked his address book, got into his car, and drove to Dora Treat's house, arriving just minutes after the nurse practitioner herself. 

   "You did it as a challenge," he said as she answered the door. "I know you wouldn't really steal from me."

   Dora looked confused for a second. "How did you know . . ." A variety of emotions seemed to cross her face. The last one looked a lot like resignation. "Yes, of course, a challenge. I thought it might be nice to have another 'Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle'". 

   "Oh, I knew it had to be a joke," Sherman said with obvious relief.

   "Of course." Reaching into her purse, she returned the small, blue gemstone. "What gave me away?"

   "You were in a hurry, correct? Any second and I might have walked in and caught you. And yet you searched through all three boxes."

   "And that eliminated the others?" 

   "Both Sam and Buddy saw me put the carbuncle in the red box. But you weren't in the room at the time. You were the only one who didn't know which box held the carbuncle."

How did you do with this week's Whodunit?

Did you catch the clue about the boxes?

So, we know Dora took it. And Sherman believes she did it as a joke. It may be just me, but I think Dora stole it and just used Sherman's suggestion that it was a joke to keep herself out of trouble. Hmmm.

Check back next Wednesday when the Whodunit will be hosted by author Susan Furlong Bolliger!


  1. Love the book titles! Cozy mysteries have great/fun titles and covers.

  2. This author name does not sound familiar to me.
    I will have to add this series to my list of books to hunt for as I browse second hand stores.

  3. I know I at least looked at this series back when it was in print. I may even have the first kicking around my condo somewhere. But I never did read any of them.