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Chanukah Guilt Paperback – 15 Apr 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 15 Apr 2007
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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Swimming Kangaroo Books (15 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934041319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934041314
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,334,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

“… lots of fun!” – Midwest Book Review “… a fast and fun read that I think anyone would enjoy, and I recommend you give it a try. I know I’ll be watching out for the next Rabbi Aviva Cohen mystery!” – Davida Chazan, dooyoo.co.uk “Wonderful well-written characters will pull you in…. I hope this book has mass appeal beyond the Jewish population because it is a great mystery.” — Armchair Interviews “… a well-crafted story and a satisfying conclusion.” Muse Review Mark: Great Read — Muse Reviews “… an interesting, and informative book, and will be enjoyed by our readers.” – South Florida Association of Jewish Libraries “…weaves Jewish culture and mystery in a delightful blend. I enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to the next installment by this talented author.” – Bloodstained Book Reviews “Bravo Ilene Schneider! Chanukah Guilt is a grand success! I can’t wait for more Rabbi Cohen!” –My Shelf “…. it’s refreshing to encounter a book that might be gimmicky and isn’t…. this character could show up in several more books and I’d be glad to see her.” – Reviewing the Evidence --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rabbi Aviva Cohen must be the poster child for the saying "Everybody needs a rabbi." Aviva's friends, family (dysfunctional though it is), neighbors and synagogue are all blessed by her presence in their lives-- as are readers of Ilene Schneider's wonderful Rabbi Aviva series. Even Aviva's first ex-husband's life is better for renewing his acquaintance with her.

An intricate mystery plot is slowly unravelled by Aviva as she follows clues that arise naturally from her life of helping others. One of the functions of literature is to expand the reader's universe and I am grateful that my universe has been expanded by getting to know Rabbi Aviva and her beautifully detailed Jewish community.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable new series! 5 Jan. 2015
By authorsam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Schneider has built a world that non-Jews can enter and feel comfortable in by skillfully integrating explanations of various aspects of Jewish life, language, and religion. And she does it all within the context a tidy little mystery with plot twists and turns aplenty. Aviva Cohen, rabbi of a small congregation in New Jersey, is a gal you could hang out with and enjoy for her self-deprecating sense of humor and her sharp wit. The cast of quirky characters and complicated relationships adds layers to the story.

In this second edition, you get a bonus alternate ending chapter. I've read a couple of mysteries that do that, but it is certainly not SOP. I understand the appeal of producing the alternate. As a writer, you have several possible murderers, but you ultimately must choose one. I think the extra chapter at the end is a great way for authors to show how their thinking can switch with just a few twitches of the clues.

I look forward to more from Schneider as she writes additional Aviva mysteries. But now, I'm off to read Unleavened Dead, book two.
4.0 out of 5 stars I got a "kick" out of reading this book! 25 April 2014
By Editor50 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got a real kick from Chanukah Guilt because of the author's clever, amusing language -- such as for the titles of each of her books -- though I admit that I haven't read them all . . . yet. I read Chanukah Guilt when it was first published (before the second edition came out - which is the edition new readers to the work of Ilene Schneider should get). That's when I found a perfect example of how an author can cite a cliché without falling into the trap of appearing to rely upon clichés herself, especially when portraying a protagonist in first-person.

In fact, I quoted that example in one of my own books for writers (with full credit, of course) to illustrate that very skill. Schneider uses clichés to convey the shock of her protagonist, Rabbi Aviva, on learning that a young woman she'd tried to counsel is dead. Aviva says _Clichés exist because they're true. My heart leaped into my throat. I couldn't breathe. The room was spinning. My vision dimmed._

By naming each specific visceral feeling, Schneider portrays her character's actual gut reactions to shock while also letting us know that SHE knows each is a cliché. Other less aware authors would either use clichés without recognizing that's what they were (very common among most first-time authors) or use many more words than these to try portraying instant emotional reactions. As a book editor, I appreciated Schneider's writing abilities while also enjoying the mystery.
4.0 out of 5 stars Jewish Life and Murder in South Jersey 2 May 2014
By Janis Rothermel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. If you are curious about South Jersey not to be confused with the very different North Jersey as well as Jewish life in the Cherry Hill area then you will enjoy this story, its characters and particularly the rich details of the locale (lots of names and places here). The book infuses tenets of the Jewish faith throughout and are well explained for those not familiar with them, and in an interesting way for those who are. The story is quite good, and will have you guessing until the end. The characters from the murdered, the murderer(s), family and friends of the deceased are detailed. The female Rabbi who helps to solve the murder is a well defined main character with a great supporting cast surrounding her. I felt as though I knew her by the end of the book. Her life is very detailed and drew me in totally by the third chapter, and kept me up late the other night so I could finish it. I especially enjoyed reading about the Rabbi's birding expeditions. I am eager to read the next book in the series, Unleavened Dead, because I enjoyed this one so much and to find out how the recurring characters grow. And of course it is great fun to read about the area where I grew up. I always try to explain South Jersey to my out of town friends. I now have a book for them to read and learn about the South Jersey where I was raised and still have family.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story for Chanukah or any time of year 4 Jan. 2013
By Petrova - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chanukah is more a home-centered holiday than a synagogue-centered one, but Aviva, the rabbi who is the protagonist of Chanukah Guilt, is having a busy one even though she lives alone. The book starts with Aviva being called to do a funeral for a local tycoon who hated all the other rabbis in their New Jersey town - a tycoon with two ex-wives, a current wife, a mistress, and several children. When the college-age daughter asks for some counsel and says she believes her father was murdered, things start to get really complicated. Add some personal family troubles, the arrival (as interim police chief) of Aviva's ex-husband, and a crippling snowstorm, and you can see that Aviva's Chanukah is not going to be peaceful. But it's always entertaining! As I attended a Jewish-sponsored university and have a daughter who is a (Christian) clergyperson, I can attest to the believability of Ilene Schneider's portrayal of her characters. I found Aviva to be an engaging and intelligent amateur sleuth, and I'm planning to read her Passover adventure a little later this year. But don't wait for Chanukah to read Chanukah Guilt -- it's a great read any time of year.
4.0 out of 5 stars Immediately grabbed my interest! 15 Dec. 2012
By Jane Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew this congregation, I was there, and felt as though I wanted to be a member of her flock! It was a fast and easy cozy that I somehow felt compelled to constantly have in my face regardless of other tasks needing my attention. The family of characters seemed very real with compelling problems, and I look forward to continuing to delve into their lives in future novels--already downloaded the recently released Kindle edition of Unleavened Dead. Rabbi Cohen is likable, believable, and reachable. Chanukah Guilt was an interesting combination of mystery sprinkled with a learning experience of the weird combination of Wiccan and Judaism. However, I just couldn't wait till the last night of Chanukah to complete the book and did so on the fifth night! It doesn't have to be read at the Chanukah season, but I found doing so added a bit of warmth and good feelings at this holiday time.
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