Fax Me A Bagel Mass Market Paperback – Jan 14 2002
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You gotta love Ruby Rothman, the Eternal, Texas, rebbitzen (rabbi's wife) with a craving for bagels. Actually, she's the rabbi's widow when this engaging mystery begins, but it isn't until days after a member of the congregation pushes in front of Ruby in line at the Hot Bagel and bites off more than she can chew--a little cyanide--that Ruby begins to wonder if there's a connection between the poisoned bagel and her husband's death a year ago in a hit-and-run accident. But right now she's got more immediate things to think about--like clearing the cloud of suspicion that's settled like flour on her friend Milt, the bagel baker, and avoiding the clutches of Essie Sue, the temple yenta, who's determined to make a shiddach (match) between Ruby and the new rabbi of Temple Rita (don't ask). The action moves from East Texas to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, connected by a family feud and a cunning killer who's out to give Ruby more than a minor case of heartburn. Fax Me a Bagel has some structural problems--too many plot points are worked out in a series of e-mails between Ruby and her friend Nan instead of being explicated in action and narrative; and Kahn has a tendency to tell instead of show. But Ruby is an appealing heroine, and this debut mystery has "series" written all over it. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In Eternal, Tex., Ruby Rothman, a 46-year-old rabbi's widow, calls upon her knowledge of the Jewish community and her skills as a savvy computer consultant in this entertaining debut. When the sister of the temple board's vice-chairman is fatally felled by a poisoned bagel, the police arrest the baker, Ruby's friend Milt. While filling in for him at the bakery and trying to figure out why anyone would want to kill the mousy woman, Ruby finds a note in her late husband's files warning him to stay away from Milt and his bakery. After she is almost hit by a car on her way home one night, she decides that her husband, who died in a hit-and-run, was murdered and that she's the next target. But why? She learns about two brothers who started in the cutthroat bagel business in New York in the 1930s and pieces together the family feud that brought Milt to Texas. Memories of older relatives and additional notes from her late husband's files suggest that his family may have been involved in the feud, and then the threats on her life get more serious. Although the direction of the plot is given away in the first chapter, the action unfolds at a smart pace as readers are given the inside scoop on rabbi selection and installation and the history of the bagel union in New York. With her low-key sense of humor and her perky inquisitiveness, Ruby is a welcome addition to the ranks of amateur female sleuths.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was not disposed to like Ruby Rothman after her flippant email at the very beginning, but as I kept reading, I began to like her as a character. But, why does she have to send incomplete email because phone is ringing? Can't she save it as a draft, take call, finish email and then send?
Also, why not be more assertive in defending herself? Essie Sue complains about Ruby having red hair & green eyes. Ruby tells her lots of biblical figures were redheads. Why not just say that if Jews weren't supposed to have green eyes and red hair, God wouldn't have made her that way. Why doesn't she tell Essie Sue that she wasn't a rabbi's wife; she was Stu's wife and Stu happened to be a rabbi.
Rabbi Kapstein is the rabbi from hell. What kind of a rabbi, or other clergyman, comes on so strong to another woman so soon after his wife leaves him? Doesn't he need to do any grieving for his failed marriage?
I loved it when Yvonne Copeland, Buster's wife, asked the rabbi if his wife had to call him Rabbi Kapstein in those "wifely" moments. She should have pushed for an answer.
I loved the part about the installation service for Rabbi Kapstein.
I would like to have seen more of Ruby's son, Joshie. Isn't he a little old to be called Joshie? But maybe this is a Texas thing or a southern thing.
I got tired of emails between Ruby & Nan. Would have liked more expository writing.
Anyway, widowed Ruby is a computer consultant in Eternal, Texas where the place to go for bagels is The Hot Bagel owned by Lebanese Milt Aboud. While waiting for her weekly bagels Ruby witnesses the death by cinnamon cyadide bagel of a member of her temple's congregation. Naturally, everyone but Ruby thinks Milt did it and she sets out to prove he didn't .
Until she does, you get to enjoy the cowboy-booted congregation of the Temple Rita (Don't ask!), the overly opinionated new-rabbi-to-be (Don't call me Kevin, call me Rabbi Kapstein) who would like to turn ex-rabbi's wife Ruby back into a rabbi's wife and Essie Sue Margolis Temple Rita's self-appointed everything who wants to erect a statue of her murdered sister on the temple steps in the guise of Queen Esther.
Even though I uncovered the identity of the murderer long before Rudy, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The not very subtle but totally funny combination of the Jewish and Texas cultures is to die for. Try it, I'm sure you'll like it. I'm actually ordering Ruby's next two adventures right now!
Not only is Ruby a regular patron of this bagel cafe, she is considering investing in the business. A strong friendship with owner Milt Aboud and a lifelong love affair with bagels lead Ruby to believe that this could be a great career move.
But life in Eternal becomes a little more interesting after Marla Solomon has a deadly encounter with one of Milt's bagels laced with poison. Being a friend of Milt's, a potential investor in The Hot Bagel, and ... well ... nosey, Ruby sets out to find out who killed Marla and why. What she finds is a bagel-based feud beyond her wildest imagination.
Along the way, we are introduced to a colorful cast of characters, and a fun (albeit danger-filled) ride through Jewish communities in Texas and New York. Soon, Ruby learns that her late husband's hit-and-run death may have been no accident, and that she might be next on a killer's to-do list. But just when things get too tense, Kahn livens things up with hilarious scenes and hard-to-forget characters.
It's a funny and fast-paced novel, with a mystery that will leave you guessing up until the book's last pages. It's no wonder that Fax Me a Bagel is a hit with fans and critics alike. Let's hope that we get to see much more of Ruby and The Hot Bagel in the future.
Ruby begins to investigate the townsfolk, starting with her deceased spouse's personal files. She soon concludes that her husband was murdered and that someone is after her too when she almost is hit by a fleeing vehicle. Ruby also learns what propelled Milt to open up his bakery in Texas. As she gets closer to the truth, Ruby realizes that her husband's family is intertwined in the six decade old Aboud feud that appears to have traveled from New York to Texas. Still, she needs to show more caution because the culprit has begin to target her.
FAX ME A BAGEL is an entertaining female amateur sleuth tale that brings a wa! rm new entry into a very talented and growing field. Fans of the sub-genre will love the spunky and self-deprecatingly humorous Ruby, whose ironic outlook on life makes her a refreshing sleuth. Though the story line is obvious from the start , it does not take away from insight into rabbinical politics and the unionization of the bagel industry. Hopefully, Sharon Kahn will provide readers with more tales of her cream cheese and lox (on a bialy next time?) heroine.
Most recent customer reviews
I decided to give this series another shot after I read and disliked one of the author's other books. I hate to pile on but this series really does fall flat. Read morePublished on June 5 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
Mystery novels with Jewish themes are somewhat rare, but if you're looking for a good one, this is not it. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2002 by Mark W.
It is unusual to think of a murder-mystery as fun, but this one is. Ruby is actually the widow of the rabbi of the local, small Jewish community in Eternal, Texas. Read morePublished on June 14 2000 by M. Desoer
As a former resident of Austin, TX and its Jewish community, I found this book true to life in the details of living in a small Jewish community far from the East coast. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2000 by shana ozacmak
I FELL IN LOVE WITH RUBY. AS A MYSTERY, IT WAS A BIT ON THE OBVIOUS SIDE. BUT AS A GOOD AND FUN READ, IT WAS TERRIFIC. Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2000 by Esther MacRunnels
I love Sharon/Ruby's sense of humor. I also love the way she makes fun of tight bottomed Essie Sue who is the older sister type we love to hate. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 1999
Obviously written by a woman who understands bright, spunky women. I enjoyed reading Ruby's thoughts on her son, friends, and the pretentious people from her temple. Read morePublished on May 24 1999
This book held my attention, but I did NOT love it. It was an example of a peice of literature fit for an uneducated person.
It was very, VERY low end. Read more
This is an excellent first book. It combines unique characters with enough plot twists to keep the reader turning the pages. Read morePublished on Dec 9 1998 by Sholise62@aol.com