Diamonds for the Dead
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Diamonds for the Dead

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Talk to anyone in Reston, Virginia, and they'll say Josh Handleman's dad, "Honest Abe," was a real mensch. But when Josh returns home to bury his estranged father, he gets the shock of his life: his thrifty dad was filthy rich. Oy!

Who was this man who donated millions to charity, invested in the dreams of Josh's friends, and shared his home with a strange vodka-swilling Ru...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Midnight Ink/Llewellyn
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Mark Baker
Josh Handleman has returned home to bury his father. But he's barely arrived when he starts hearing rumors that his father was murdered and that he owned a bunch of diamonds. The diamonds are now missing. Were they why he died? This is a very atmospheric story with wonderful writing. The story was a bit slow to get going, but once it did, I was completely hooked.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Suspense Magazine
How well do any of us know the people we love? Our husbands, our wives, our parents? This is the provocative question that shapes the plot of “Diamonds for the Dead”, the first—but hopefully not the last—novel penned by Alan Orloff.

Josh Handleman returns to his boyhood home to sit shiva for the father he has been estranged from for most of his adult life. Josh brings his failures with him—a troubled marriage and a failing business. When he arrives home, he gets the shock of his life: his frugal...more
I won my copy of Diamonds for the Dead through the goodreads giveaway, which I was so excited about (since I never win anything!) that it may have biased my opinion a little bit. Anyway . . .

I really wish we could give half stars, because DftD is a very solid three-and-a-half. The plot is interesting and very well mapped out. If you've read any sort of mystery novel before there's nothing revolutionary about this one. That said, it is plenty of fun to read and keeps you guessing. I was certain I...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Josh Handleman returns to his Virginian childhood home to sit Shiva for his Father. What he finds is way more than he expects.

Just who was Abe Handleman? It becomes quickly obvious, not whom his son, Josh thought. Abe turns out to be a person of great generosity. He funded Josh's friends business projects, he housed an old Russian Jewish gentleman with nowhere else to go believing without question that they are related. He has given millions to the local Hebrew Home and wanted to fully vest a wi...more
Courtney Muceus
This book was an easy read that kept my attention the entire time. The first half had me thinking of all different scenarios of who could have possibly murdered Abe or was his death really an accident after all. The second half of the book became more predictable and I really wasn't surprised by the ending at all. This was an okay read in my opinion.
Stephen Parrish
Josh Handleman's search for his father's diamonds---and killer as well---is set against the backdrop of a homecoming. Author Alan Orloff deftly creates tension between characters who once were close friends, but haven't seen one another in years.

The protagonist is sympathetic and easy to identify with, the scenes are vivid, and conflicts abound. As in all good mysteries, the perpetrator is well integrated and doesn't reveal himself until the end. Orloff employs subtle cliffhangers to excellent...more
Nothing is going right for Josh Hsndleman. Now his father is suddenly dead, and Josh, an only child, must return to his childhood home and pick up the pieces of his father's life. The first surprise is the elderly Russian living in a spare room. Of course, Abe Handleman was always interested in the plight of Soviet Jewry, but Abe's best friend, Lev, says that Josh's new housemate is a liar and a murderer. Then there's Abe's estate--it's much, much bigger than Josh expected, and mostly left to ch...more
Keith Jones
Orloff has created an interesting character in Josh Handleman, who returns to Virginia from California after his father dies. Josh's internal conflict with the perceptions of his father's generosity for others when his father ignored him as a child provides emotional depth. Josh's investigation into whether his father's death was accidental and his search for a horde of diamonds in the midst of Josh's past and new acquaintances creates tension for the physical plot.
Intriguing, exciting and suspensful! A guy finds out that his Dad was a Diamond collector and worth millions after his death. When he goes back to his home town to take care of the arrangements he finds himself in the middle of a mystery - the Diamonds are missing and his Father's death may not have been accidental.

I look forward to more from this Author. Well written, kept me captivated to the end.
This did not read like a first novel. Thoroughly enjoyable! Steeped in Jewish culture but not so strongly that it leaves non-Jews like me behind! I look forward to reading his second book, althopugh I would also like to see him continue to write about Josh.
Elaine Viets
Well written mystery about a young Jewish man who looks into his father's death. It's set in Reston, Va., and I used to live near there in Washington DC. Captured the area well. Interesting insights into modern Jewish culture and Russian immigrants.
Art Taylor
What a fun — and finely penned — debut! Both a clever mystery and also a novel about family and relationships and, ultimately, beginning to fine oneself. (It's not just a search for those lost diamonds, of course....) Highly recommended.
Avery Aames
Well-written whodunnit, with locked room mystery. Strong protagonist in transition, working to solve his father's murder while dealing with life issues. Good narrative. A few bad words, sparingly used.
Daryl Gerber
Well-written whodunnit, with locked room mystery. Strong protagonist in transition, working to solve his father's murder while dealing with life issues. Good narrative. A few bad words, sparingly used.
Interesting characters and a solid, if slightly predictable, mystery kept my attention and kept me turning the pages.
Darrell James
One of the best books I read in 2010, it definitely deserved it's Agatha Award nomination.
This was a really quick read. I thought it was okay, nothing to stand out and grab me.
Orloff created a wonderful cast of characters in this book.
A fun, fast read. Enjoyed the characters.
Nov 27, 2010 Connie added it
Nice easy read that kep my interest
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Before Alan stepped off the corporate merry-go-round, he had an eclectic (some might say disjointed) career. As an engineer, he worked on nuclear submarines, supervised assembly workers in factories, facilitated technology transfer from the Star Wars program, and learned to stack washing machines three high in a warehouse with a forklift. He even started his own recycling and waste reduction newsl...more
More about Alan Orloff...
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