FAX ME A BAGEL by Sharon Kahn


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Next time you’re in Eternal, Texas, be sure to stop in at The Hot Bagel (the only local competition, Kulberg’s Deli, is from hunger). But if you have a bagel with everything, make sure the everything isn’t cyanide. Marla Solomon didn’t specify, and now the Eternal police have carried her out of The Hot Bagel and taken owner Milt Aboud down to headquarters for questioning. As Milt twists slowly in the wind, and Marla’s bossy sister Essie Sue Margolis proves her mettle by jawboning the local temple (Temple Rita: don’t ask) into erecting a marble memorial statue of Marla as Queen Esther, enter Ruby Rothman, widow of the temple’s last rabbi, who, already devastated when her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver, has had to watch Marla die before her very toes. Convinced Milt couldn’t have poisoned Marla’s bagel, or come after Ruby herself with another errant car, Ruby starts schmoozing up the pale suspects. Fortunately, Kahn’s amiably meandering debut also provides a vulgar, lively subplot—Ruby has to fend off the advances of the crass incoming spiritual leader tireless Essie Sue has foisted on the congregation, a man who ignores every brush-off and keeps on coming like the Eveready Rabbi—that may make you forget the lifeless mystery completely. Marissa Piesman goes west, with broad temple comedy substituting for Upper East Side wit. (Book-of-the-Month alternate selection)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-684-84737-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998