The Fifth Servant: A Novel (Paperback)

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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


“Whatever you are currently reading, I promise you it is not nearly as intelligent, witty, compelling, or entertaining as The Fifth Servant….Wishnia makes history come alive.”
 — David Liss, author of The Devil's Company


A brilliantly imagined, beautifully written combination of scrupulously researched historical novel and riveting suspense thriller, Kenneth Wishnia’s The Fifth Servant carries readers back to 16th century Prague in the shadow of the Papal Inquisition—and introduces a uniquely unforgettable protagonist, a young Talmudic scholar who has three days to solve a heinous murder before official reprisals decimate the city’s Jewish community. A richly atmospheric tale of religion, mystery, and intrigue, The Fifth Servant recreates life in the era when Emperor Rudolph II occupied the throne—a time of uncertainty and fear viewed through the eyes of an intrepid rabbinical student on a quest for truth and justice.


About the Author

Kenneth Wishnia is the author of The Fifth Servant, and his crime fiction has been nominated for the Edgar and Anthony awards. He has a PhD in comparative literature and teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Suffolk Community College on Long Island, where he lives with his wife and children.

Praise For…

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia....Wishnia makes history come alive.”]]>
— David Liss, author of The Devil's Company and The Whiskey Rebels

— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

— Booklist

The Fifth Servant offers a unique blend of mystery and Talmud set against an intriguing historical background.”]]>
— Linda Barnes, author of Lie Down with the Devil

The Fifth Servant proves that academia, wit, and compelling mystery may all be found in one book. And what a suspenseful, enthralling story this is—accessible and hugely entertaining, it is an astonishing novel.”]]>
— Ken Bruen, author of Sanctuary

The Fifth Servant is matched by the complexity and appeal of its characters. With apparent ease Kenneth Wishnia makes solid and real the sounds, sights, and smells of a vanished and legendary time.”]]>
— S.J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author of The Shanghai Moon

The Fifth Servant suceeds at its goal: to keep you turning pages, and, when you’re finished, wanting more.”]]>
— Forward

— Library Journal on THE FIFTH SERVANT

The Fifth Servant, a smart funny page turner that I hated to see end.”]]>
— The Jewish Journal

— I Love a Mystery

— Historical Novels Review on THE FIFTH SERVANT

— Albuquerque Journal on THE FIFTH SERVANT

— Contra Costa Times on THE FIFTH SERVANT
Product Details
ISBN: 9780061725388
ISBN-10: 0061725382
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 8th, 2011
Pages: 416
Language: English