Blog posts about the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mysteries and their author Rabbi Ilene Schneider

Archive for September, 2013


Tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 22), click onto the OTP Blog ( to read my latest guest blog: WHEN WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS FALL SHORT. I vent my frustration that bestselling authors seem to be held to lower standards than the rest of us. (Examples cited, but no names named.)

Here’s the direct link:


Although it didn’t win, my flash story “Perfect” placed among the top ten in the Golden Donut contest sponsored by the Writers Police Academy. According to Lee Lofland’s blog, they received “a mountain of entries.”


The directions seemed easy enough: a story based on the photo above.But the story had to be exactly 200 words, including the title. Contractions counted as two words. Not so easy, after all. But a fun challenge.

Here’s my entry:


“Perfect!” she screeched. She never spoke softly.

“Stop the car! Now!” She never said “please,” either.

She got out and looked over the chain link fence at the deep concrete hole surrounded by crumbling bunker like towers. “This is it. It is just what I have been looking for. It has that great post apocalyptic look. It will make my movie perfect.”

What she had been looking for? Her movie? He had given her the idea. He had used his car to drive her down every godforsaken lane seeking the “perfect” setting.

“What do you think it is?”

He shrugged. “A swimming pool for a giant?”

“Do not be an ass. Get this gate open.”

He pried it open with a tire iron, and watched as she teetered on the top step in her ludicrously high heels. The sight of the stupid red soles indicating the shoes cost triple his weekly salary tipped him over the edge. So he tipped her over the edge.

She landed at the bottom, her neck twisted at an angle natural only to an owl. He dragged the body under the staircase. As he drove away, he thought, “She was right. It was perfect.”


Some VBSP (very blatant self promotion):
1. My thanks to author Jill Yesko (full disclosure: we were on a panel together on “Feisty Women” at Killer Nashville) for posting a 5-star review of UNLEAVENED DEAD on Amazon. Part of her review:

“Kudos to Ilene Schneider for some of the best plotting I’ve come across all year. I was kept guessing who dunnit until the last chapter. I also laughed out loud several times (while guffawing to myself almost every chapter) at Schneider’s wry humor. Her characters are believable, warm and will be familiar archetypes to readers of any religion, race or creed.”

You can read the full review, and all the other 4- and 5-star reviews, at:

2. An article about me in the latest issue of the NJ Jewish News: CREATING A SLEUTH WHO’S A WOMAN RABBI
Read it at: