Thursday, February 7, 2013

Holy Smoke-Frederick Ramsey

Holy Smoke

Frederick Ramsey

Poisoned Pen, Feb 5 2013, $24.95

ISBN: 9781464200922

In 29 C. E. Jerusalem, a severely burned body is found behind the Temple's most sacred inner sanctum the veil of The Holy of Holies; a place no one is allowed to venture except for the Jews’ Chief Rabbi and he only on the Day of Atonement. When news of the corpse floods the city, many irate Jew believe heavenly fire burned the intruder for heresy while political and religious leaders like High Priest Caiaphas, raging over messiah-like Rabbi Yeshua of Galilee rallying the masses, insist on learning how this infidel gained access to the Holy of Holies.

The Chief Rabban Gamliel and Greek physician Loukas doubt that God’s wrath killed the violator as each believes a mortal sinner committed murder. They team up in search of a human murderer in order to calm the populace and quiet down the rabble rousing authorities as dealing with the Romans is enough of a problem for the rebellious Jews.

The latest Jerusalem biblical era mystery (see The Eighth Veil) is an enjoyable whodunit as readers obtain a deep look at troubled Jerusalem during a tumultuous period. The leisurely-paced investigation grips the audience with more deaths dividing a split city further. Fans of ancient detective tales will appreciate touring Jerusalem during a time when Jewish leaders, Romans, Jesus, and traders clash.

Harriet Klausner

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