Mystery in Miami Beach: A Vivi Hartman Mystery (Lerner Mysteries)

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9780822507338: Mystery in Miami Beach: A Vivi Hartman Mystery (Lerner Mysteries)
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In Miami to spend the winter break with her grandmother, Vivi Hartman learns of a recent series of alarming events at her grandmother's condo and with the help of her friend, Mike, follows the clues.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-8-- Vivi Hartman, a rabbi's daughter, visits her grandmother in Florida during her winter break. While on the plane, she reads a front-page Miami Herald story about an Israeli tourist attacked by a gang. The woman is her grandmother's friend, also visiting in Gram's apartment. In quick succession, Vivi meets a teenaged boy and begins to notice that a rash of red birds, umbrellas, tall men with British accents, and other suspicious characters seem to be popping up everywhere. This is a fast-paced mystery, the premise of which is rooted during the Holocaust--specifically with the ship St. Louis, which was not allowed to land in either Cuba or Miami in 1939. The ship returned to Europe, where most of the 907 Jewish passengers died. Hebrew terms and Jewish customs are woven seamlessly into the story; indeed, much of this information is crucial to the plot, and all of it adds depth. Other plot devices seem a bit far-fetched. Its basis on a factual incident gives the book credibility but, conversely, a thin edge. Feder just stays on the correct side of possibly exploiting events for a story, and would have been more firmly on that side had she relied on Yiddishkeit --essential Jewish tradition and character--which could stand alone, without the frenzy or the borderline stereotypical characterizations. The subtitle and a loose thread in the story predict that there are more adventures to come. If Vivi remembers to utilize pilpul --rabbinical logic--to solve the ensuing mysteries, she could be a modern-day Sherlock Holmes who also happens to be a nice, bright American Jewish girl. --Carla Kozak, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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