A valuable heirloom has been stolen from a member of Julia Donnelly's Torah study group. Grievous sins of the past have pushed their way into the present. Murder, distrust, and ill-gotten gains from World War II Bohemia threaten the peaceful Jewish community of Crestfall, Illinois. Julia, wife of this small town's mayor and mother of two young adopted sons, is pressed into service to find the bejeweled heirloom which is called a yad, a Hebrew word which means 'hand' in English. It is a rod-shaped item with a bulb on the top and a hand with a pointing finger at the bottom that helps keep one's place when reading the Torah. This particular yad is covered with a fortune's worth of jewels. With no experience except watching TV detective shows, Julia and Torah group leader Rabbi Fine attempt to solve the mystery and address the misery it causes. After finding the yad, another mystery, much deeper, explores good and evil in the character of the man who brought the yad to America and escaped punishment for his crimes after the war by posing as a Jewish immigrant.
Heady stuff for a cozy, but humor takes the sting out. The Donnelly family goes at 90 miles an hour, hollering, hugging, and loving. It all works out in the end. Remember, we all have our own michegas. As we say in Yiddish, Plotsn zolstu-fun nachos - May you explode from pleasure...after reading this book. Enjoy.