Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, by Harry Kemelman, is a classic mystery story. I picked up a copy at the used bookstore because we were reading it for book club. Of course, I didn’t finish it in time. And I had something else scheduled for that day. But hey—I’m one step closer to actually going to book club. This is progress, right?
I don’t think this would be a classic if it weren’t for the strong Jewish flavor. Don’t get me wrong—Kemelman writes a pretty good mystery. There are twists and turns, and all that. But most of the book is Jewish culture, with a mystery to solve. Did I learn something about Jewish culture? Absolutely. Was it a good mystery? Meh. It was about as good as any of Agatha Christie’s lesser-known works.
If you really like cozy mysteries, or if you want some good Jewish fiction, go for it. But if you’re looking for a good mystery, go with something else. ♦