ESRA Magazine
ESRAmagazine categories

Knock Off the Old Block

Second in "Tension on a Pension" cozy mystery series
April 25, 202
By Carol Novis
Available on Amazon ($7.99), Kindle ($2.99) and Kindle Unlimited (free)
Reviewed by Eli Libenson  

Carol Novis continues to write delightful cozy mysteries. Knock off the Old Block is the second in her "Tension on a Pension" mystery series following Long in the Sleuth. The setting in both books is the Menorah Retirement Home in Aurora, Minnesota. The plot revolves around a distinctive piece of antique Judaica. The amateur sleuth in both books is Ellie Shapiro, a seventy-three-year-old resident of the home.

Carol dedicates her book to the memory of her late mother, Lil Matchan, "who inspired this book," and I can't help but think that Ellie Shapiro is a composite of Carol's mother's many virtues. This added an element of poignancy to my reading.

Knock off the Old Block is engaging and fun and includes a full cast of idiosyncratic characters that includes Tommy, the irascible and overworked non-Jewish chef; Ms. Robins, the prim and proper manager of the home whose overriding concern is the home's good name; Riva, the down-to-earth and blunt Holocaust survivor who is Ellie's best friend; and Hal, the bookish volunteer at the Jewish Community Archive who is Ellie's love interest (maybe).

Reading books about Jews of a certain age, especially when presented in a sympathetic and understanding way, can be very appealing. One reviewer of Carol's first book wrote, "This was a perfect cozy - just the right amount of suspense, a bit of not-too-gory murder, no bad language."

Another reviewer wrote, "The main characters have plenty of life left (until someone starts to murder them). I loved it." The same can be said of Knock off the Old Block.

I heartily recommend this book to the readership of ESRA Magazine. In addition to all of the above, Carol is a very active member of the magazine's editorial board and a frequent contributor to its pages. 



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Monday, 17 June 2024

Captcha Image


MagazineIsrael- 2019-homepage
There are pockets of coexistence
which kindle hope.
Old cities and very new cities with amazing stories
Find out about the Israeli art scene
The best tours in Israel with ESRA members