Rabbi Small12 books in series
A character-driven series of charming, old-school mysteries, led by the delightfully enlightening Rabbi Small.
Rabbi David Small is a wise, perceptive scholar and gentle teacher who faithfully tends to his occasionally contentious congregation in 1960s Barnard’s Crossing, Massachusetts. He is also an unorthodox detective who gets caught up in baffling mysteries. As Rabbi Small solves each puzzle, author Harry Kemelman illuminates core tenets of Judaism and details of Jewish life, culture, and traditions.
George Guidall embodies Rabbi David Small in all his wit, warmth, and wisdom. Selected by the author’s estate, the Audie Award-winning narrator performs the entire series, brilliantly. Guidall’s warm, conversational style gives listeners a sense that he’s speaking directly to them, in a way that conveys both Rabbi Small's humor and intellect. In Guidall’s capable voice, the various accents and Yiddish-isms of the many personalities are delightfully believable, as are the frequent squabbles between congregants.
A Boston native and an English professor, Harry Kemelman wrote a series of short stories about Nicky Welt, a college professor who used logic to solve crimes, before finding success with his more genial no less sharp rabbinical sleuth, Rabbi David Small.
The debut novel, Friday the Rabbi Slept Late, won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. Listener tip: start the series with book 1 and follow it through the days of the week (and beyond).