Five Star, Nov 2008, $25.95
Former Shakespearean teacher Jake Wanderman knows he is lucky to have survived his recent encounter with the Russian Mafia (see SCRAMBLED EGGS). However, when his beloved late wife’s friend TV star Toby Welch, asks Jake to investigate the brutal murder of her father, art dealer Cormac Blather, Jake agrees.
Homicide Detective Sienna Nolan does not want Jake on the case, but knows she cannot prevent him from sleuthing. Thus she teams up with him finding clues that tie Cormac’s homicide and that of an art forger Chase McCleod to billionaire art collector Bryson Mergenthaler. Hints of fraud involving a missing biblical ossuary emulate from Jerusalem. Sienna is unable to go so encouraged by his rabbi Jake travels to Israel not quite prepared that some people want to send him home in a coffin while Israeli police detective Liat strongly suggests he return to the states.
DEADLY BONES is an interesting investigative tale starring a depressed hero still grieving his wife’s death although the two female cops who enter his life give him an emotional lift. The story line is fast-paced with a lot of knife play from an unknown adversary leaving a growing death toll behind. Jake is at his best in Jerusalem where he does what all former Shakespearean teachers do alienate the cops (same as he does in the States). Although overwhelmed at times by the Bard, fans will enjoy this fine mostly amateur sleuth with the additional insight into the Jewish mitzvah of davening with Tefillin.