These books are like popcorn. You can read them in about two hours, and they are so satisfying. I love them. I reread them every few years to remind myself how Rabbi Small gets into trouble with his congregation and how he get himself out again.
In this case the dispute is over whether a Jewish non-member of his congregation should be buried in the small Jewish cemetery. You see, there’s a question of the man’s death: was he a suicide or an accident? If a suicide, he should be buried outside the cemetery. At least that’s the opinion of the wealthiest member of the congregation, even though R. Small has already ruled that he may be buried there.
In order to put his mind at rest, Rabbi Small looks more deeply into the man’s death. The more he looks, the less he likes what he finds.