The Death of Israel Leventhal by Boom Baumgartner ~ Book Review by PizzyGirl

Title: The Death of Israel Leventhal

Author: Boom Baumgartner

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Cover Artist: Kirby Crow

Rating: DNF

Publication Date: 02/15/2017

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


Israel Leventhal can speak to the dead. This brings some interesting jobs his way, but his latest job leaves him a little more nervous than he likes, so he calls in a reinforcement: his best friend George, who can also talk to the dead. When the job goes as badly as he feared it would, Israel is driven to drastic lengths to survive it—lengths that change how he sees the man he’s always called his best friend.

My View:

I was very disappointed in this story. Less Than Three Press has always been my go to publisher for quality work. I never have to worry about underdeveloped stories or poor editing. However, that was not the case with The Death of Israel Leventhal.

From the first page, the writing style felt off to me. I could not pinpoint what was wrong but I had the odd feeling that the tenses did not quite match and the sentence structure was not conducive to easy reading.

“What do you mean, Rose?” Israel has asked, propping his phone up with his shoulder while looked for familiar routing numbers linked to Derek’s bank accounts; anything that might tip him off that something was off.

Then, as things progressed, proofreading errors started making themselves known.

For example

Whoever who had come into ambush them answered with their own covering fire.

Squeezing his eyes shut, he forced himself to concentrate on next steps.

He poured himself a glass from a box of white zinfandel that sat alone on his middle shelf of his refridgerator and drained it.

The final editing/proofreading straw for me was mix up of a character’s sex and the changing of a flower from one paragraph to the next.

Kelly grunted, but his accent was still unmistakenly Albertan when he spoke

Kelly nodded, and took a long drink of her beer.


…namely that their mark’s mistress had received a bouquet of roses and daisies.

“Putting roses and cyclamen together is not a normal combination.”

Combine these issues with the fact that at 30% of the way into this novella I had yet to have more than a superficial understanding of the gravedigger concept, I had yet to connect with or have more than a superficial introduction to the main characters, and I had yet to have any clue as to the plot or purpose of this story, I could not make myself finish The Death of Israel Leventhal. Maybe you will have better luck, but this one was not for me.


The Death of Israel Leventhal on Goodreads
Less Than Three Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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