Friday, December 16, 2011

A Jerusalem Mystery-Frederick Ramsay

A Jerusalem Mystery

Frederick Ramsay

Poisoned Pen, Feb 7 2012, $14.95

ISBN 9780967759050

In 28 CE, Jerusalem celebrates Feast of Tabernacles. King Herod Antipas celebrates the holiday with the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate joining the festivities, which are somewhat abated by the recent vicious murder of John the Baptizer.

However, a woman is stabbed to death in Herod’s palace; the murder weapon belongs to the king’s companion Menahem. Pilate wants to insure a proper investigation occurs this time as he distrusts the Hebrew ruler to do so with who the prime suspect is. He needs someone acceptable by the people who will seek the truth. The Prefect orders Rabban Gamaliel to investigate the palace homicide over the objection of the rabbi who believes he lacks the detective skill set. With assistance from loyal Loukas, the rabbi after a fumbling start begins to uncover the truth starting with who the dead Salome-like “servant” was.

The second biblical era Jerusalem thriller (see Judas the Gospel of Betrayal) is a great ancient historical investigative thriller that brilliantly combines a strong whodunit with the use real figures like Pilate; while also tying key Roman Empire era persona intriguingly to the New Testament. The inquiry by Gamaliel and Loukas is top rate, while Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth remains in the background as an irritant to High Priest Caiaphas.

Harriet Klausner

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