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Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver?: 03/06/19
Which Big Giver Stole the Chopped Liver? by Sharon Kahn is the fifth book in the Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife mystery series. Essie Sue has put together a reunion in nearby Austin to hopefully encourage previous congregation members to donate to the temple. The opening reception is set to include a large chopped liver made into the shape of Texas. Instead of the liver, there's a dead body!
Primarily this mystery is set at the hotel hosting the convention Essie Sue has put together. There are quite a few scenes though of Ruby ferrying between Austin and home, grousing all the way. That seems to be the continuing weakness with this series, namely the pages wasted on travel scenes.
If she hates Essie Sue so much, why does she continue to agree to do things for her? I think we're supposed to believe that she has a continuing loyalty to her dead husband, the previous rabbi. Clearly though, he's been dead long enough for the temple to move on. Kevin might be too modern and too awkward for Ruby's tastes but the temple is adjusting and changing with the times. It's time for Ruby to move on to a congregation that fits her personality.
The mystery itself was pretty easy to figure out. The murderer doesn't go as far as announce that they did it but they might as well have. There is literally no one else in this book with motivation that comes close.
Finally, the novel feels dated even for the time it was published. For instance, a major clue is a "secure digital card." Come on, even in 2004, everyone was calling them SD Cards.
The last book in the series is Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Choir (2006)