The Fifth Servant (Hardcover)

By Kenneth Wishnia

Thorndike Press, 9781410426697, 725pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2010

February 2010 Indie Next List

“The bloody body of a young girl is found in the shop of a Jewish butcher in medieval Prague. A Talmudic scholar works against a deadline to solve the murder and save his community from annihilation. The Fifth Servant is dense, full of philosophy, history, and the pulse of a community under siege.”
— Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
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In 1592 Prague, Emperor Rudolph II sits on the throne; the Papal Inquisitor has arrived to persecute witches and heretics; and the city's Jews live behind the walls of the ghetto. When the body of a young Christian girl is found in a Jewish shop on the eve of Passover, a blood libel charge is brought against the shopkeeper. The relative peace enjoyed by the Jewish community is in peril, and a rabbinic student just arrived from Poland must find the real culprit.