Gwen (Nash) Katz Silver is new to Nashville, Tennessee. She moved there from New York City when her Uncle Murray Katz died. Murray owned a Jewish delicatessen in Nashville and he left it to Gwen in his will.

Native New Yorker, Gwen, doesn’t know the first thing about running a deli so she has to depend on all the help she can get from the people who were working there when Murray was alive. That includes the restaurant’s manager, Thomasina, who was also Uncle Murray’s main squeeze.

Things are not going well with Gwen. She just divorced her cheating husband, her favorite uncle just passed away, she and Thomasina are always butting heads, and on Kosher Karaoke Night the very popular Buster Sergeant dies when he’s poisoned by the brisket. Definitely not the best way to entice customers to eat at a restaurant.

Then, to make matters worse, Uncle Murray’s boyhood friend and accountant tells Gwen that the restaurant is losing money even though the place is packed every day. Gwen is also confronted by a millionaire who suddenly wants to buy the restaurant and the other businesses in the area to create a theme park.

It’s a good thing that Gwen has her chocolate and cigarettes to help her get through this because she refuses to give up the deli that her uncle loved so much. Gwen will need a lot of chocolate and ciggies to get her out of this mess because someone is also trying to kill her.

“A Brisket, a Casket” is the first book in Delia Rosen’s wonderful A Deadly Deli Mystery series. I’ve read every book and love them. I’m always on the lookout for the next one to be released.

I somehow relate to Gwen Katz. Maybe it’s because we’re both New Yorker’s from Brooklyn, or maybe it’s because I love Jewish food, or maybe it’s because we share the same last name. Whatever the reason Gwen seems like a sister to me.

The other characters in the series are just as likable. Uncle Murray might be dead but we learn about his love for cooking and his childhood dream of being guitar playing musician.

Murray’s special friend and deli manager, Thomasina, sarcastically calls Gwen “princess” but you can tell that she loves Gwen and the deli and will do whatever she can to protect both.

Nashville, Tennessee is also important in this series. Uncle Murray opened a Jewish deli in a place that thinks that gefilte fish actually swim in the ocean and are just learning what a good potato knish tastes like. And maybe Gwen will find another love to take the place of her ex husband. One never knows.

Visit Nashville’s one and only Jewish deli and watch how Gwen gets herself in and out of trouble. This series is a true gem.

Paperback, 256 pages

Published October 1st 2010 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2010)

ISBN 0758241704 (ISBN13: 9780758241702)

Edition Language English

Series A Deadly Deli Mystery #1

setting Tennessee (United States)

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