A heavy Sitka spruce groans against the window panes and the wintry sun throws pale shadows across the dead body sprawled over the coverlet. Fruit flies stick in the dregs of last-night’s sickly sweet wine and the air is sour with sweat, meth and cold cigarette ash. By the bed side, a carefully arranged chess set is the only clue to the murder scene.
Disheveled, badly hungover and still raw from his recent divorce, Detective Meyer Langmann of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is hell-bent on finding the killer even if it means crossing the head of the local mobster organization. Or going against his ex-wife and now-boss Bina, whose only job is to close the police station on the eve of the Jews’ deportation from an imaginary Alaskan town.
Bold, captivating and funny, this murder mystery/scifi/alternative history is the perfect tale to herald the Hanukkah season. And no traditional Hanukkah dinner is complete without crispy yet moist potato latkes, a juicy brisket seeped in dark red wine over a bed of glazed carrots, sinfully cheesy kugels and fried donuts powdered with sugar. All complemented by a bottle of kosher Manishewitz, thick with the taste of Concord grapes.