Book Plunge For Fun: The Dot Meyerhoff Mysteries

What do I think of Ellen Kirschman’s series? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Generally, if I’m reading for fun, it’s normally going to be a mystery. It started with the Hardy Boys in elementary and middle school and then after finishing all my library had I went on to Nancy Drew. After that, I started reading Mary Higgins Clark since my mother was fascinated with her. Now with a kindle, I tend to get any free series I can.

This time, I came across this series and read the first four books. Dot Meyerhoff is not a detective, at least formally. She is a psychologist that works with the police department and in the course of doing her job, she will often come across situations, some of which she would say she causes, and gets caught up in a mystery trying to figure out what is going on.

One unique aspect of this is that the stories are told from the first-person perspective. The last time I remember a first-person account in a mystery was when I read the Monk mystery novels, but those were told from the perspective of his assistant Natalie so you never really got inside of Monk’s head. Here, you are inside the head of the investigator and hearing all of her own problems and concerns.

In the midst of all that she does, she also is often busy trying to juggle a love life and wrestling with the fact that her ex-husband who she used to work with left her for another woman. One might be surprised to see some wrong thinking going on in the head of a psychologist, but it is quite real. Most therapists from what I understand actually see therapists of their own. After all, everyone has blind spots.

Often, Dot gets herself in situations where she is in over her head. Thankfully, there is a police department right there to help her out, but many times the police department also sees thoroughly frustrated with her No matter how many times she comes out as even better investigators than the people assigned to investigate, she still sees herself as a therapist and the police still keep wanting her to stay out of their business.

Religiously, she is a Jewish atheist. There is not too much talk of religion in the books aside from more of a sociological position, such as her living as a Jew and the way her parents raised her. Still, Dot usually does go out of her way to help anyone that she comes across. That can also be another problem of hers as usually she bites off more than she can chew.

Many times, these mysteries aren’t your typical whodunnit more than a what happened mystery. There are cases of wondering who the culprit is, but it’s not like wrestling with a list of suspects often. It is a difficult concept to explain, but the mysteries are often very engrossing and while I normally read a chapter a day, there were times I got close to the end and just went ahead and finished reading all of them.

So if you do enjoy mysteries, this is a good one to try. If you have a kindle, you can get a good deal on this and other mysteries. Perhaps when I see them on sale I might get books 5-6.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge For Fun: Rabbi David Small

What do I think of Harry Kemelman’s books published by Fawcett Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am trying to read some more fiction and if there is any kind I especially enjoy, it’s detective fiction. It’s also fun when the main character is not really a detective in the professional sense, such as the Father Brown mysteries, which I have read entirely. Being on Kindle and getting newsletters from them of books on sale, I regularly saw these books on sale and then one day, I saw a combination of four for something like $2.99. That was enough for me.

The rabbi is indeed a rabbi and not a Messianic rabbi, but while I disagree with his religious beliefs, I do like the way he goes about solving mysteries. David Small is the main rabbi in the series and he uses reasoning based on Talmudic principles and the Torah to solve his cases. He is someone who is aloof from the world around him and is not easily swayed. I couldn’t help but like the way his wife described him. “David will change the world before the world will change my David.”

Small does form a good relationship with the chief of police in the town of Barnard’s Crossing where the books mainly take place. The interesting aspect of Small is his nature in that many times he solves mysteries without really setting out to solve them. He’s rather nonchalant in the way he goes about it. The only big exception I have seen thus far is the first book where his wife has to insist he solve the case since he himself is a suspect in the case.

In the other books, it seems to practically come out as just a regular part of conversation. There is no jumping up and shouting “Eureka!” It’s more of “Just follow this piece of evidence here and then look at this and see how it has to be this way” and before too long, the criminal is identified. Small makes no big deal about what he has done.

Not only all of this, but he regularly has to put up with the trials of running his congregation, who too often are not on his side. This is one area where it makes his not solving crimes a big deal interesting. No one in these meetings at least thus far says “The rabbi has his issues, but he is practically a celebrity with the way he has solved so many cases.”

I have read the first four books in the series thus far and then I plan to read the rest, but I am waiting to get the books in chronological order. Small is an amusing character and one who it is fascinating to see the way his mind works. The works do have a lot of Jewish references in them and that could be difficult for some readers to follow who are not in those circles or familiar with that language, Fortunately, there is not really anything essential to the cases I have seen thus far.

If you see this deal on Amazon or see it at the library, pick it up and give it a try. I liked the first four so much that like I said, I am looking forward to reading the rest.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)