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Fax Me A Bagel [Mass Market Paperback]

Sharon Kahn
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 14 2002
When a patron drops dead in The Hot Bagel, Ruby's friend the baker faces interrogation-and it's up to Ruby to fill the holes in the story.

Effectively combines humor with crime. (Booklist)

Entertaining. (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Description

From Amazon

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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You haven't lived until you've died in Eternal, Texas. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre June 6 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Ruby is an unappealing character and the plot seems farfetched and convoluted.That is the kiss of death in a series that hopes to have any staying power. The supporting characters are very irritating .It would be so great to have a cozy mystery series with a strong Jewish female protagonist but Ruby is not in the running.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read, But Not Great Book Jan. 24 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Overall, the book is a quick fun read.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Weak, weak, weak Jan. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mystery novels with Jewish themes are somewhat rare, but if you're looking for a good one, this is not it. It was worth a quick read to "kill an evening," but is far from a classic. The developments and conclusion were very predictable. You may prefer the earlier books in Faye Kellerman's Peter Drucker/Rina Lazarus series. If you just want a female detective, Sue Grafton's series (A is for Alibi, etc.) also gives a quick read but is much better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars SO, I LIKE BAGELS! Oct. 11 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To be honest, I picked up this book because of the title. I've always had this thing for bagels and the totally twisted title caught my eye. And would you believe, I ended up not only loving the book, but also Ruby Rothman, the rabbi's widow. (Can't figure out why everyone calls her the rabbi's wife since he was killed by a hit and run driver some time ago. Maybe it's a Jewish thing.)
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!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, fast murder-mystery June 15 2000
Format:Hardcover
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. She cannot abide by the temple board politics, but becomes embroiled in a local murder with links to New York. (Very unseemly for a rabbi's wife. . .) This was a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to the subsequent "episodes."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read for Shabbat! Jan. 30 2000
Format:Hardcover
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. Eternal, TX may be fiction, but it's also true! True, some of the characterization seems a bit extreme, but this is a fun read. Ruby's perspective is funny, yet realistic as a new widow struggling along. The narrative zips along and before you know it, you're finished, hoping that Kahn is writing quickly to keep you up-to-date on Essie Sue, the new Rabbi, and, of course, Ruby herself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars FUN READING Jan. 24 2000
Format:Hardcover
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. IT HAS HUMOR, WONDERFUL CHARACTERS, AND INTRESTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE HISTORY OF BAGEL INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK.
I SINCERELY HOPE THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A LONG LASTING SERIES.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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.
I also like the way she gets the stories about old New York and the immigrant culture.
Keep it up, Sharon.
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