Secrets, shame, and decades of criminal activity frame the third Lily Kovner “Jewish Miss Marple” novel.
Based on a true story in the author’s family, The Nice Little Blonde Girl exposes personal and historic turmoil experienced by courageous women and treasured objects, all victims of war, occupation, and unholy behavior in the name of religion.
Lily Kovner, nicknamed the Jewish Miss Marple, accidentally spies a familiar-looking painting hanging in the unlikely setting of a shabby restaurant in Vatican City. Simon Rieger, her significant other, has been summoned to examine a previously unknown manuscript, attributed to a famous Talmudic scholar, unaccountably stored there.
A suspicious death and the disappearance of both the painting and manuscript lead Lily and Simon to Lviv, Ukraine, newly freed from Soviet rule but a city lacking vestiges of the vibrant Jewish community that thrived there for centuries before World War II and isolation behind the Iron Curtain. Lily recalls her one pre-war childhood visit to this city then known as Lwów, Poland, and wonders if any of the relatives she met survived the Holocaust.
Ultimately, the path reveals a modern woman’s saga of solitary resilience, despite the treachery of perpetrators professing to be holy, that mirrors a centuries-old local legend of a Jewish heroine who saved a landmark synagogue.