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

Archive for January, 2014


Here’s the full quote from “The Jury Box” (now online at by reviewer Steve Steinbock:

“Far more good books arrive on my desk than I’m able to adequately review….Unleavened Dead (Dark Oak Mysteries, $16.95) by Rabbi Ilene Schneider about South Jersey Rabbi Aviva Cohen, is a solid, funny mystery that provides an insider’s look at Jewish life.”


Here’s the promised link to the Kindle version of CHANUKAH GUILT (SECOND EDITION):



Here is the direct link to the 2nd Edition of Chanukah Guilt for purchase on Amazon:

Stay tuned for a link to the Kindle version, coming soon.


The March/April issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine isn’t on the stands or online yet, but I got an email from my publisher, who then posted the news on Facebook:

Just got the news that UNLEAVENED DEAD was reviewed in ELLERY QUEEN Mys Mag!!!

“….a solid, funny mystery that provides an insider’s look at Jewish life.”

— from Billie Johnson, publisher, Oak Tree Press



ImageBillie Johnson, my publisher at Oak Tree Press, is still trying to get the Amazon problem solved. It makes no sense that the out-of-print edition is still being listed, while the 2nd edition, with a new publisher, ISBN, and copyright date, is not.

In the meantime, however, there is a way other than Amazon to order not only the trade paperback of the second edition, but also a large print edition. Just go to and scroll down to CHANUKAH GUILT. (And it’s at a discount!)


   Not much. But, in all fairness, it has been only just over two weeks, including days I would have been off anyway (New Years, weekends) and bad weather days when I would have worked from home.

   When people ask me how I’m enjoying being retired, I answer with a grin. Although, I am still in a period of adjustment.

    I’m having no problem with not going to work, but I’m still not used to having flexibility with my time. I don’t have to wait for a weekend or day off to wash my hair, do my nails, fill my birdfeeders, do laundry. I still put off the laundry until my underwear drawer is almost empty and the hamper is overflowing, but I don’t have to; it’s now out of choice (sounds better than “procrastination”), not lack of time. I don’t have to make appointments for haircuts or doctors in the early morning or late afternoons; I can take the first available opening. I can visit my parents in Florida (heading down there next week) without counting how much paid time off I have accumulated. Even better, if my return flight is canceled because of a blizzard, I can delay returning until the snow melts, maybe in April.

    It’s weird to drive past a nursing home facility and realize I don’t need to make visits there. And it’s nice to be able do errands whenever I feel like it rather than when I’m going to be visiting patients who live near the stores I want to go to. And I’ve been able to take care of minor errands I’d been putting off because I didn’t want to take the time while working to go, for example, to a craft shop to pick up jewelry glue to fix a ring. Or to get the tire pressure checked.

    I have even (blasphemy!) joined a gym so I can use the stationary bike. My goal is to be able to stand up from the low couch with the broken down cushions without having to rock back and forth to build up some momentum. And to walk upstairs without pulling myself up with both hands on the railing. (It’s either exercise or buy a new couch and a new house on one floor. Neither is an option until I hit the lottery or sign a seven-figure book contract, both of which have an equal chance of happening. And I never buy lottery tickets.)

    Other retirement plans include scanning our thousands of pictures into the computer. First, I need to organize the two huge boxes of pictures that have been in our family room for almost two years. No more excuses that I haven’t the time or energy to sort through them and get rid of multiple wallet-sized school pictures. I have taken the first step: the photo scanner is on the family room coffee table.

    I’m also going to clear out the coat closet. And the desk. And make a list of all the DVDs we own. And … well, you get the idea.

    I volunteered to be treasurer of the Burlington County Natural Sciences Club. I’m going to call the Rancocas Nature Center, where I used to work, to see if they have an open shift in the bookstore.

    I think I’ve finally sorted through all my emails. Now I have to see if those who wrote me about my doing guest blogs for them are still interested. And I need to continue with my book promos and writing the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mystery #3, Yom Killer.

    Yesterday, my younger  son called in the mid-afternoon to let me know he was home. I said I probably wouldn’t see him until I got home after the board meeting of the Friends of the Library. His response: “I thought you were retired.”

    I am. But, as one of my friends said, “You’re not retired. You’re re-tired. You had new tires put on.”

    Yup, and enjoying the smoother ride



WARNING: Okay, it’s not catastrophic; just info. But I wanted to get your attention.

For some reason, a few days ago, Amazon decided not to list the new edition of CHANUKAH GUILT. Not sure why; maybe because they still have 1 copy of the original for sale. But they also deleted the Kindle version of the original. The 2nd edition will be uploaded to Kindle soon. OTP is working with their Amazon rep to figure out why only the original edition (all 1 copy of it) is still there and the new one isn’t. Please be patient. (And no, you can’t read the new alternative solution without re-reading the book; I rewrote sections so the alternative and the original endings would both make sense. Sorry.)