19 December 2017
by Barb Goffman
When I was in college, a roommate was excited to come home one spring day to find me eating matzo ball soup. She asked if she could have some. She loved trying new ethnic foods. Having grown up Jewish, matzo ball soup didn't seem so ethnic to me, but I was happy to oblige.
As we head into the final days of Hanukkah this week, I thought of my old roommate, and I realized that perhaps this is a good time to bring a little ethnicity to readers, in this case, in the form of a favorite legal mystery series of mine starring a Jewish protagonist named Rachel Gold.
Rachel is an attorney at a law firm in Chicago when the series begins. A few books in, Rachel and her best friend, Benny, move to St. Louis, and the series continues there. Rachel is hard-working, smart, and a delight to read about. Author Michael A. Kahn also gives readers a nice look into the ways Judaism can play a role in everyday life, both through Rachel's personal life and her law firm work.
I know there are a lot of mysteries with Jewish protagonists, but this ten-book series is my favorite among them. The first book in the collection is called Grave Designs. I think Kahn started out with a different publisher (maybe more than one along the way), but now, all his books appear to be available through his current publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. You can also find a short story or two of his out there about Rachel Gold. They all come with my recommendation.
Please feel free to share your favorite "ethnic" mystery protagonist in the comments. And happy holidays and happy new year to you all.