Israelis have not been writing detective fiction for very long; Batya Gur’s 1992 The Saturday Morning Murder: a psychoanalytic case was the first Israeli crime novel to reach a wide American Audience. In her 2005 obituary, the New York Times said she was “almost single-handedly responsible for making the detective novel a flourishing genre in Israeli letters.”

Breaking with the conventions of detective fiction, Gur’s novels are always set in closed societies: A psychoanalytic institute, a kibbutz, a literature department, or a television station. The community’s tensions, factions, and prejudices mirror Israel’s own. To crack each case, the Moroccan-born detective Michael Ohayon has to immerse himself in these tight-knit worlds.

Host Marcela Sulak reads from Murder in Jerusalem, translated by Evan Fallenberg. The action begins in the studios of the national Television station, Channel One. The set designer has been found beneath a fallen pillar on the set of a film adaptation of Shai Agnon’s Iddo and Eynam, and the witness to the crime has also died…


Batya Gur, Murder in Jerusalem. Translated Evan Fallenberg. Harper Books.

Further texts by Batya Gur, all published by Harper:

The Saturday Morning Murder: a psychoanalytic case.
Literary Murder: a Critical Case
Murder Duet: a Musical Case
Murder on a Kibbutz: A Communal Case
Bethlehem Road Murder


Alex Cannon – The Revealing; Murder Mystery Background

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