Assault in Forgotten Alley (A Scotch & Herring Mystery) by: David Y.B. Kaufmann

Assault in Forgotten Alley

In 1958 a black teen was found badly beaten in a Jewish alley.  Detective James McCallum was called to the scene to try and figure out if this was a racial crime or something more.  The teen wouldn’t speak and when he did he refused to give any details.  Normally, an assault like this wouldn’t have been given so much attention but it seemed as if this could’ve been something much more than just a fight between teens.

In this weird back alley with no witnesses near, the only visible clues were a  string wrapped tightly around the victims hand, a broken record, a gold mouthpiece and a Yiddish sign hanging in the alley.  McCallum needed assistance translating the Yiddish street sign so he enlisted the help of his oldest friend Rabbi Drew Aldala who just so happens to be the son of the fallen Detective Aldala, McCallum’s former partner.

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.  I didn’t know that this was part of a series.  Thankfully, I feel as if you can read this as a stand alone although some details about the friendship between Drew and James are missing.  I will probably go back and read the first in the series so that I have all of the information.  I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.  The information about the lives of the different cultures back then were written very well and I found it very interesting.  Coming in at 483 pages, I was hooked until the last 100 pages.  There were a lot of Jewish phrases that I had to look up and I felt like it dragged a bit.

All in all, I liked this book and it wrapped up fairly well.   I just felt a bit lost towards the end.  I gave this book 4 crowns.  Really a 4.25 or 4.5.



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