"A funny ethnic mystery"
Since the death of Rabbi Stu Rothman, Essie Sue
Margolis runs the Temple Rita synagogue in Eternal, Texas.
Using a statistically invalid and unreliable sampling of
the congregation members, Essie Sue informs the board that
the new Rabbi Kevin Kerstein has a very low approval
rating. To avoid the selection process of a new rabbi, the
board including Ruby, the wife of the deceased previous
Rabbi, agree to a Caribbean Sea cruise.
Ruby wins the raffle for a free trip, but wonders if
she will be sailing with endless tsuris from the
aggravation she expects from her companions. The Bargain
Tours cruise is filled with cut-rate reductions that makes
this a trip worth forgetting though coincidentally the
Captain happens to be Essie Sue's cousin. University
Professor Gonzales was to provide insight into the
historical Jewish population in the area, but he dies while
boarding the ship. Ruby finds herself embroiled in a
mystery based on the professor's notes while two suitors,
the captain and a passenger she likes (who might just be a
killer) pursue her.
The third Rabbi's wife mystery, DON'T CRY FOR ME, HOT
PASTRAMI, is an amusing who-done-it due to the internal
sufferings and asides of Ruby. The story line is fun
though a reader might wonder why Ruby puts up with Essie
Sue, a professional nudnick. Essie Sue is as aggressive a
character one will find in a cozy while the Rabbi needs to
borrow some of her chutzpah so he will not continue to look
like a putz. Fans of an ethnic who-done-it will enjoy this
tale that requires noshing a bagel while reading it.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 9, 2001
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 ratinghas fallento 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 chefs 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.
Genre: Cozy Mystery