Friday the Rabbi Slept LatePosted: 2011/06/06
Kemelman, Harry. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late. Greenwich: Fawcett Crest Book, 1963.
Rabbi David Small is Barnard Crossing’s newest rabbi. His presence is a mixed blessing. While the community debates renewing his contact for the next year he is simultaneously fingered as the prime suspect in a murder case. It’s hard to dismiss the evidence – the murdered girl’s purse is found in his car and he admits being in the area at the presumed time of death. In the interest of clearing his name (and getting his contact renewed) Rabbi Small becomes a professional snoop, helping with the investigation. He becomes friendly with the lead detective and they share leads as well as discussions on religion. It is interesting to note how police work has changed! In this day and age Rabbi Small would never been able to interview the victim’s employer or search her room and yet, he does both; ultimately solving the case.
Favorite line: “The girls he went out with didn’t mean that to Mel…They were somebody he went to bed with, like he might go to a gym for a workout” (p 113) and “We Yankees don’t like anybody, including each other, but we tolerate everybody” (p 140).
Author fact: Kemelman was a Massachusetts man and died in Marblehead.
Book Trivia: Friday the Rabbi Slept Late was Kemelman’s first novel. It was also made into a made-for-television movie.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “I Love a Mystery” (p 119).