Friday, September 09, 2011

Forgotten Books: Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red -- Harry Kemelman

I think I read all the books in Kemelman's Rabbi Small series more or less as they appeared, but this one is my favorite. Why? The campus setting. Small is teaching a course at a tiny Christian college, and when this book was published, so was I. Well, I was teaching several courses, but naturally I was interested in the subject matter of this book. It was published during the Viet Nam era, and Small discovers that things have changed in the years since he was a student. The campus is not a happy place.

Then there's a bombing and a murder. These are things Small can deal with, having solved a crime or two before. It takes a while for him to work things out, though, and the entire community is affected, including, of course, Small's contentious congregation.

The book is set firmly in a place and a time, one that I remember well. I have a feeling that today's readers might find it dated, and they might also find the pacing a bit leisurely. Not me. It's a great nostalgia trip, and I didn't find it slow in the least. In fact, it made me want to go back and look at others in the series. It's one that I remember fondly.

8 comments:

  1. I loved this series and wished there were more days in the week.

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  2. I read each of the books in this series as they were published. But they seem to be completely forgotten today. Great choice!

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  3. Terrific series and terrific choice!

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  4. Anonymous8:12 AM

    I read the first six "days" (including this one) as well as his 'impossible crime' stories, THE NINE MILE WALK, but have always meant to go back and catch up with the titles I missed. There were a dozen Rabbi Small books in all.

    Jeff

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  5. I certainly remember when they were in the handy supermarket kiosks, but I haven't ever gotten around to them, despite consistent good word. (Should fix that.)

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  6. I have the five days and the weekend, but have yet to read any of them. Always mean to. Like Todd, I should remedy that.

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  7. I very much enjoyed these books. I read them as they came out.

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  8. Somewhere Kemelman mentions that people looking for the first book in this series kept getting the name of the book wrong; one of the titles they came up with was Freddy the Rabbit Slept Late - evidently Beatrix Potter's only mystery novel.

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