After nine previous novels, it's no wonder Rabbi David Small has had it with the fractious congregation at Barnard's Crossing, Massachusetts, and is looking for another line of work. First, though, there's one minor distraction: the death of tenure-hungry Victor Joyce of Windermere Christian College, apparently killed in a drunk-driving accident, but actually murdered sometime after Dr. Abner Gorfinkle examined the wreck and pronounced him alive. Will the rabbi be able to talk Chief Hugh Lanigan out of fingering the police suspect-- upstanding Mordecai Jacobs, Joyce's competition for tenure at Windermere--and sort out the untidy subplots to finger the obvious killer in time to tender his resignation? Is the Pope Polish? Sketchy work from a pro who, like his hero, seems to have his mind on something else all through the book. The murder mystery is less interesting, presumably by design, than the question of what's next in store for the rabbi.