Two elderly spinster sisters––Florence and Lorraine––have lived together ever since the death of their wealthy father, living on generous stipends provided in his will that continue until one of them marries––at which time that sister is cut off financially. The sisters’ family is shaken up when Florence invites them to her wedding. The morning after the wedding, Florence is found dead in her bed. Was it an asthma attack as her new husband and the police believe or did someone enter her room in the middle of the night and suffocate the old woman with a pillow? Local amateur sleuth Rabbi Jacob Kappelmacher is brought in to investigate the suspicious death. He soon discovers that all of the sisters’ relatives stayed overnight following the wedding and could have strangled the old woman in her sleep. So could have the bridegroom. But who did it? And why? With no money and no motive, why would anyone kill the old woman? Rabbi Kappelmacher begins his investigation by interviewing all of the interested parties, intent on figuring out the convoluted and devious crime––and the sinister culprit behind it.
Jacob M. Appel's first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence in November 2013.
Jacob has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Alaska Quarterly Review, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, StoryQuarterly, Subtropics, Threepenny Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. He has won the New Millennium Writings contest four times, the Writer's Digest "grand prize" twice, and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom competition in both fiction and creative nonfiction. He has also won annual contests sponsored by Boston Review, Missouri Review, Arts & Letters, Bellingham Review, Briar Cliff Review, North American Review, Sycamore Review, Writers' Voice, the Dana Awards, the Salem Center for Women Writers, and Washington Square. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received "special mention" for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.
Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has most recently taught at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was honored with the Undergraduate Council of Students Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003, and at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City. He also publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Hastings Center Report, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Times, The Providence Journal and many regional newspapers.
Jacob has been admitted to the practice of law in New York State and Rhode Island, and is a licensed New York City sightseeing guide.
“Wedding Wipeout,” a Rabbi Kappelmacher mystery, was nothing short of hilarious. And interesting. And edge-of-your-seat. -- Baltimore Jewish Times