Winner: Premio Letterario ADEI-WIZO (Italian edition)

Nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Historical Mystery

The Fifth Servant

From the publisher:  A brilliantly imagined, beautifully written combination of scrupulously researched historical novel and riveting suspense thriller, Kenneth Wishnia’s The Fifth Servant carries readers back to 16th century Prague in the shadow of the Papal Inquisition—and introduces a uniquely unforgettable protagonist, a young Talmudic scholar who has three days to solve a heinous murder before official reprisals decimate the city’s Jewish community. A richly atmospheric tale of religion, mystery, and intrigue, The Fifth Servant recreates life in the era when Emperor Rudolph II occupied the throne—a time of uncertainty and fear viewed through the eyes of an intrepid rabbinical student on a quest for truth
and justice.


“An extraordinary novel, which makes a long-vanished culture seem urgent, contemporary, and alive. Wishnia gets the nuances just right: The Yiddish is used perfectly, and the religion, politics, and prejudices of the old German empire are as real and believable as if they were behind our television screens.”
–Sara Paretsky, author of Hardball

“Whatever you are currently reading, I promise you it is not nearly as intelligent, witty, compelling, or entertaining as The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia. A great protagonist, a vivid set of supporting characters, a winning voice, a gripping plot, and a lively historical context–this book is the total package. Too many historical novels try to make textbooks come alive. Wishnia makes history come alive.”
–David Liss, author of, The Devil’s Company

“In his fiercely intelligent and entrancing novel, The Fifth Servant, Kenneth Wishnia gives us a sixteenth-century Prague that is rich, labyrinthine, and utterly compelling. Drawn in first by its soft wit, we soon find ourselves swept into a tale both intricate and haunting, its twists and turns carrying us breathlessly to the very last page.”
–Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me


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