Consulting Detective by Alan Maniford
Oh, the stories I could tell you about the author, Alan Manifold! We met at Earlham College over 40 years ago, where I was a new Baha’i and he was the Son of a Preacherman.
I could tell stories, but I won’t, because, being a Literature Major instead of an Art Major (as I was), he is much better at telling stories than I am.
Case in point: Consulting Detective.
It is my favorite kind of mystery novel: an intriguing who-dunit, without the gore, depravity or gruesomeness that has become so popular in modern crime fiction. This is a book you can read without cringing, and share with your family and friends. It would be a great consideration for a book club.
From the publisher:
Detective Mihdí Montgomery is not your average mystery novel detective. Far from being a hardboiled, reticent loner, he is an outgoing, happily married father of two children who relies on the spiritual principles of consultation for guidance in both his work and personal life. But when a rabbi is murdered in a Jewish synagogue in an apparent hate crime, Detective Montgomery’s faith is put to the test.
A rabbi in the Beth Shalom Synagogue has been murdered through a blow to the head with a heavy brass candleholder, and hateful graffiti has been spray-painted throughout the synagogue. As he begins interviewing people with connections to the killing, Detective Montgomery finds that different people had plenty of motives to murder the rabbi. Perhaps it was the real estate agent who was hoping to buy the synagogue if people moved out. Perhaps it was the jealous ex-boyfriend of the woman who was in love with the rabbi. Or perhaps it was the white nationalist who has a history of posting racist flyers in the area. With such a diversity of suspects, Detective Montgomery must move quickly to pinpoint the suspect if he is to keep the synagogue, the town, and his family out of harm’s way.