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Hold The Cream Cheese, Kill The Lox: 11/07/18
Hold The Cream Cheese, Kill The Lox by Sharon Kahn is the fourth Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife series, which really should be called the Rabbi's Widow series as her husband is dead and has been dead for all of these books. She's certainly not married to Rabbi Kevin who is too young and too progressive for her tastes.
Ruby is now working at the bagel place that features so prominently in this series. When prices on the lox they purchase go up, Ruby goes to investigate, only to find the person who was causing all the trouble, dead!
The dead man is only a recent resident in Paradise, Texas, with ties to New Jersey and New York. Now in the typical mystery, the first thing that would happen is that the dead man's history both locally and remotely would be looked into through whatever means the main character has at their disposal. These murders, especially the cozies are usually extremely personal.
But this series has always been a little off. Sometimes it works but this time I was left scratching my head (and yelling at the book). Ruby for whatever reason decides that the death isn't related to the man's history, it must be a supply line problem. So rather than go East to the obvious source of useful information, she goes North West to Ketchikan, Alaska, in November of all times.
Really — Alaska in November to investigate the death of a lox distributor? The entire middle third of this book is bloated with this red herring of a trip. No detail is glossed over from how many bags she takes, to what airlines she takes, to her stopover in Seattle, to taking public transit, to staying in a nearly abandoned (because it's NOVEMBER!!!!) hotel, to being snowed in. And then when it's all done and she's nearly frozen to death and discovered nothing because the fishery is CLOSED FOR THE SEASON, she goes home.
Then it was as if common sense came and hit the author upside the head. In the last maybe seventy-five pages, Ruby realizes her mistake and goes to New Jersey where she quickly confronts the killer, has a brief adventure, and solves the case.
I know I've spoiled a lot but this book is just so damn nonsensical.
The next book in the series is Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver?