Fawcett, Feb 2004, 6.99, 272 pp.
Suburbanite Christine Bennett is delighted that her closest friends Hal and Mel Gross are going to visit Israel and their cousin is paying for it. Gabe is a wealthy fifty something year old businessman who wants to have his bar mitzvah in Jerusalem and is wealthy enough to fly his friends and family out there for the event.
Chris, a former nun, is even more excited when her husband NYPD lieutenant Jack informs her they are going to Israel too. He will work with the Jerusalem police on a database. When they arrive at their destination, Mel informs Chris that Gabe was injured and was taken away in an ambulance but they can't find him. The next day his body is found in the Arab sector of Jerusalem and since the police are not making any progress on the case, Mel asks Chris to do some detecting. She discovers that the crime was carefully planned in one country and executed in another but whom and why eludes her.
Not only has Lee Harris written another exciting amateur sleuth tale, she also has given her audience a fascinating travelogue of interesting sites and areas in Israel. In spite of the troubles in the area, readers will want to tour the Holy Land. THE BAR MITZVAH MURDER is so complex that nobody reading this book will be able to identify the person who set up the murder scenario until the author chooses to reveal it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner