Book Review #1: The Yiddish Policemen's Union

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon


An alcoholic detective and his cousin slash partner on a trail to find the killer of a junkie chess prodigy. He made it a personal vindication to find the murderer since it happened on the same building he resides in. Nobody noticed it happened since the weapon used had a silencer. The trail took them to the most important and powerful family in the community which led to more questions.

Set in the middle of the Yiddish settlement in the Alaskan panhandle, Meyer Landsman was able to uncover secrets that would test his faith.

Filipino connection

Meyer loves Filipino food. There were 2 Filipino food stores, first was the Pearl of Manila where he always order to deliver primarily his favorite lumpia (deep fried vegetable eggroll), the second was owned by his informant, Benito Taganes called Mabuhay Donuts where he love the Filipino Style Chinese donut. Here is how Michael Chabon described his ode to the deep fried concoction:

" A panatela of fried dough not quite sweet, not quite salty, rolled in sugar, crisped skinned, tender inside, and honeycombed with air pockets. "

Family and Friends

The love-hate relationship between Meyer and his cousin Berko Shemets makes a good partnership. Berko would follow Meyer to the gates of hell, if needed. Meyer would do the same but would never admit it. Another interesting character would show up in the middle of the book, it is Wilfred Dick, Berko's foul-mouthed childhood friend. He is the top detective inspector for the Tlingit community. Between the 3 of them, they make up a wonderful conversation spiced with interesting way to wish somebody bad luck.

Love it or like it
I liked it. It had a slow and predictable start from the time he was called to investigate a murder till he found out the identity of the dead junkie. Like any good suspense, if you think you figure out the culprit, think again. This book is a keeper. I have lined up to read another of Michael Chabon's popular books.

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