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

Archive for August, 2017


Review of YOM KILLER, by Rabbi Rachel Esserman, Executive Editor and Book Reviewer, The Reporter Group; appears in the August 25, 2017, issue of the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton’s The Reporter, located in Vestal, NY. (

“I’ll admit I feel an affinity for the main character in Yom Killer. After all, how could I not like Rabbi Aviva Cohen, a middle-aged, wise-cracking, liberal rabbi? In previous books in the series, Aviva not only had to deal with balancing the needs of different members of her congregation, but with an ex-husband who is now living in the same town. There were also phone calls and advice from her older sister and her mother, who fortunately don’t live in New Jersey, but who still frequently interfere in her life. In the current novel, Aviva faces a family crisis during the worst possible time for a rabbi: the High Holidays. When she learns her mother is in the hospital, Avivia rushes – with her ex-husband in tow – to Boston. Questions abound: If her mother only had a simple fall, why did the hospital place her in a medical coma? Why does the staff at the hospital and the assisted living facility act as if they are hiding something? Does the fact that a new company owns the assisted living facility and the hospital have anything to do with her mother’s injury? Aviva is willing to risk her own life to find the answer. 
“Aviva is an appealing character, partly because she’s honest about her own faults – and she does have several endearing ones, including not thinking before she acts. It’s also hard not to like someone who packs far more books than she can possibly read for the trip to Boston. The novel has the right balance of seriousness and humor, and the mystery was satisfyingly complex …. Yom Killer is fun, easy reading….a perfect book for the beach or relaxing after work.”