Authors Note Linda Frank




Lily Kovner, the “Jewish Miss Marple,” Goes to China to find The Lost Torah of Shanghai

Lily scoffs at the nickname Ruth, her Chinese-Jewish cousin living in Israel, gives her while presenting an unlikely new quest: to find a historic Iraqi Torah scroll that has gone missing from the home of Ruth’s uncle, a retired Chinese government official in Shanghai. The Torah’s disappearance portends serious personal and diplomatic consequences. Although Lily can’t imagine finding a Torah in China, she and her significant other, Simon, agree they must assist Ruth.


It’s 1991, and Saddam Hussein’s Scuds raining down on Israel cast an ironic pall on the mission, along with threats, physical attack, and murder. The cultural exoticism and strangeness of the Chinese setting add to Lily’s skepticism and sense of futility. Twenty-five hundred years of Jewish Diaspora underlie The Lost Torah of Shanghai, as Lily uncovers personal and political history that restores her spirit and self-confidence as a journalist-turned-accidental-sleuth.






The Truth Behind the Fiction in The Lost Torah of Shanghai—read the Author’s Note
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After the Auction

After the Auction set journalist Lily on an investigation that was personal: a search for an antique Seder plate looted from her family by the Nazis. It’s a quest for justice rooted in the loss of her family in the Holocaust. A quest that leads her across three continents and confrontation with threats, murder, a deal with a devil, and new romance.




About the Author

Growing up in Milwaukee and as a longtime working mother, I never dreamed that, as “a woman of a certain age,” I’d be privileged to enjoy a fulfilling volunteer life, global travel, and the opportunity to indulge my passion for history by writing novels. Some people see me in my protagonist, Lily: I’ve worked as a journalist, I swim, I send home-baked goodies to far-flung kids. But she’s only aged a year between After the Auction and The Lost Torah of Shanghai!


Latest News and Updates

First Swimming

Nainai and Yeye Go to Dr. Ma Baby Swimming

This is my sixteenth trip to China since 1995, when I met Jonathan for his spring break during the semester abroad that apparently sealed his future. This is my first trip as a Nainai, grandma on the dad's side! Not only have Eli (aka, Yeye, whose fourteenth visit it is) and I done all of the … [Read More...]

Return of the alt-Facebook (blog) post

I thought my previous blogging absence was long, but two and a half years--ridiculous. Obviously, no new book out in that time. (See future posts.) It's not that I haven't had anything to say in that period of time--God knows! Most likely, Facebook has taken over as the forum for this lazy blogger's … [Read More...]

My great-uncle, David Sukiert (as spelled in Scotland, where he immigrated) apparently on a visit back to Poland with his mother and the three sisters presumed lost in the Holocaust.

Home, homelands, and where the heart is

It borders on the scandalous that I haven't written a blog post since announcing the publication of The Lost Torah of Shanghai. In today's world I should be banned from calling myself any kind of an author. It's not for lack of anything to say. Never my problem.The past few months have been...well, … [Read More...]