This week we’re posting a lot of new content on BookPage.com, from a whimsical story of a rabbi’s unlikely journey to a multilayered fantasy. I’ve read Turtle in Paradise, and it was a perfect story for tweens. Now, I think I may pick up The Frozen Rabbi. Which of the books look good to you? (Click on the titles for more info.)
English author Andrew Grant shares why his David Trevellyan novels—including new book Die Twice—are set in the U.S.A.
I was lucky enough to attend the excellent Murder 203 conference in Connecticut recently, and one of the questions I was asked most often during the event concerned the settings of the first two David Trevellyan novels. Specifically, panel-goers were curious about how I came to base them both in U.S. cities. Specially as I—and my protagonist—actually come from the U.K.?
Barbara Clark reviews acclaimed author Steve Stern’s wacky new novel, The Frozen Rabbi
The Frozen Rabbi tells the whimsical story of Polish rabbi Eliezer ben Zephyr, who, in 1890 and while in a meditative state, is unaccountably frozen alive in a block of ice during a freak storm. Lost and presumed dead by his rabbinical colleagues, he’s later discovered by a Polish laborer, still encased in ice, buried in a nearby pond. The old rabbi is preserved as a kind of holy talisman by the worker’s family and carted about, still frozen, to various locations for the better part of a century—until he accidentally thaws out and wakes from his long hiatus in a freezer in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1999. The unlikely and sometimes hilarious adventures of the ancient rabbi, as well as those of his “discoverer,” 15-year-old Bernie Karp, make up the contemporary half of this entertaining adventure.
Baby Mouse author Jennifer L. Holm shares the inspiration for her latest middle-grade novel, Turtle in Paradise
This book started out with a story my mom liked to tell about her childhood. She grew up in New Jersey with her mother and maternal grandparents. Her grandmother (Nana) was from Key West, Florida. During the summers, Nana would take my mom to Key West to visit relatives there. My mom didn’t really like going to Key West. It was a long drive by car, and Key West in July is hot and sticky and people didn’t have air conditioning back then like they do now. But strangest of all to my mom was what her mother told her to do in Key West: she was to “shake out her shoes” before she put them on. My mom didn’t know why her mother wanted her to do this, but she did it anyway. And then one day, she shook her shoes and out popped… a scorpion!
Leslie Moïse reviews the third book in Jane Lindskold’s Breaking the Wall series, Five Odd Honors
Life is not turning out the way college student Brenda Morris expected. Instead of literature and history, she spends much of her time studying self-defense, learning magic and how to infuse mah-jong tiles with her life force, or ch’i, for magical purposes. With her mentor, former child star Pearl Bright, and a band of mortals and ghosts called the Thirteen Orphans, Brenda works to unravel a century-old curse. Insane warrior Thundering Heaven, Pearl’s long-dead father, is only one of the powerful, treacherous enemies the group must face.