Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Lev Raphael

Phot of Lev Raphael

Born in New York City to Holocaust survivors, Lev Raphael attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he received his MFA in Creative Writing and English. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University. He published his first short story in 1978, a story about the children of Holocaust survivors. That story began his lifetime passion for writing and researching about ancestors of camp survivors. He taught at various universities for over a decade and even designed a course that was a multi-disciplinary study of the Holocaust. In 1988, his writing success allowed him to write full-time. He is a fixture at Jewish Book Fairs, Jewish Community Centers, conferences, synagogues, and universities. Recently, he also had been a panelist at London's Jewish Film festival and been featured in two documentaries on families of survivors.

What he writes: Raphael is known for his Nick Hoffman mystery series, set at the fictional State University of Michigan where Nick is a composition teacher. Of course, he also does his fair share of amateur sleuthing. Raphael’s other books include two novels about Holocaust survivors, Winter Eyes and The German Money, and two memoirs, Journeys & Arrivals and Writing a Jewish Life. Along with authoring many reviews in newspapers across the country, Raphael has also published dozens of essays, articles, and stories in a wide range of Jewish publications.


List of works
Nick Hoffman series
  Let's Get Criminal (1996) Tropic of Murder (2004)
  The Edith Wharton Murders (1997) Hot Rocks (2007)
  Little Miss Evil (2000) The Death of a Constant Lover (2009)
  Burning Down the House (2001)  
  Dancing on Tisha B'Av (1990) The German Money (2003)
  Winter Eyes (1992) Rosedale in Love (2011)
  “Abominations” in Growing Up Gay/Growing Up Lesbian: A Literary Anthology (1993)
  "Your Papers, Please" in Criminal Kabbalah: An Intriguing Anthology of Jewish Mystery and Detective Fiction (2001)
  Secret Anniversaries of the Heart: New and Selected Stories (2006)
  Dynamics of Power (with Gershen Kaufman) (1983)
  A Teacher's Guide to Stick Up For Yourself! (with Gershen Kaufman and Pamela Espeland) (1992)
  Coming Out of Shame (with Gershen Kaufman) (1995)
  Journeys & Arrivals (1996)
  Stick Up For Yourself! (with Gershen Kaufman and Pamela Espeland) (1999)
  Writing a Jewish Life: Memoirs (2006)
  My Germany (2009)


Won the 1990 Lambda Literary Award for Dancing on Tisha B'Av.

Won the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, awarded by University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for a Holocaust-themed story.

Won the Reed Smith Fiction Prize.

Won the International Quarterly's Prize for Innovative Prose.

Nominated for the 2000 Lambda Literary Awards for The Death of a Constant Lover.

What the critics say
"Lev Raphael writes with the precision of a neurosurgeon, the warmth of an ancient storyteller, and the soul of a people that has known the extremes of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, love and hate more than almost any other." - The Jewish Bulletin
"His characters are voices of reason, observers rather than judges... The prose is poetic in its simplicity." - Los Angeles Times
For the Nick Hoffman mysteries...
  "The Borgias would not be bored at the State University of Michigan, that snake pit of academic politics." - New York Times Book Review
  "Deliciously wicked." - Washington Post Book World
  "Lev Raphael skewers academic pretensions with wicked glee [and] Dickensian flair." - Chicago Sun-Times
  Lev Raphael offers "a delightful take on death in academe." - San Francisco Chronicle
  "The groves of academe have never been bitchier." - Denver Post
  "...Witty and devastating backstage view of college life." - San Diego Union-Tribune
  "Some of the most pointed and funny put-downs of academics in my memory." - Detroit Free Press
  "The author's specialty is wild, funny blends of scholarly intrigue and delicious satire." - Buffalo News
  "... elegantly skewers ivory-tower pretensions, petty politics, incompetencies and hypocrisies." - Booklist
  "Darkly amusing....sneaky, subversive fun." - Publishers Weekly
  "...combines stylish literary mystery with an intimate look at the jungle of academia....witty, impeccably written." - The Mystery Review
  "Marvelous humor and satisfying mystery....wickedly fun." - Drood Review of Mystery
  "Bright, breezy, and laugh-aloud funny." - Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
  "Lev Raphael…gives his narrator, a lowly English professor named Nick Hoffman, license to mow down…intellectual pretenders with his scathing wit." - New York Times Book Review
For Coming Out of Shame...
  "A singularly intelligent example of the psychological self-help genre." - Booklist


Learn about other Mystery Authors You May Have Missed.