Susan Van Dusen has Published Her First Novel!

Award-winning editorial and magazine writer Susan Van Dusen has turned her talents to writing a series of Jewish mysteries in the ‘cozy’ genre that eschews violence, profanity, and sweaty love! Her debut novel, The Missing Hand, centers around an antique yad, the finger-pointing tool that helps people read the Torah. This antique, which is encrusted with valuable gems, goes missing. Julia Donnelly, wife of the Mayor of small town Crestfall, Illinois, who calls herself the lowest member on the Jewish ecological ladder, is tasked to find the yad with the help of her Torah group leader Rabbi Fine. Using Jewish tradition and plain sechel, Donnelly and Fine discover the yad, and return it too the owner, but there’s MORE! When something is stolen and returned, should there be atonement and forgiveness for the action? Ancient Jewish tradition has the answer. We also learn about the members of Julia’s quirky Torah group and many Jewish practices.

Van Dusen’s goal is to educate people on the different levels of Judaism, and entertain at the same time. Coming out next year is The Poisonous Passover, followed by The Perilous Purim. The former Editorial Director at WBBM-AM Radio hopes there will be many more Julia Donnelly and Rabbi Fine books to come.

Save the date for the Beth Emet book discussion on January 19, 2022 at 7:00 pm.


Beth Emet has so many amazing members, each offering unique talents to the greater community. Share your news with all of us so we can both celebrate and get to know one another a bit better…. Especially during these (mostly) virtual times. Send your news to Bekki Kaplan, and if possible, please include a photo!