Harry Kemelman, 88, author of a series of mystery novels featuring the heroic Rabbi Small. A high school and then a college English teacher, Kemelman gained a wide following with his series of a dozen books. The mysteries were translated into 17 languages and formed the basis for a 1977 television series titled “Lanigan’s Rabbi.” He built titles around days of the week, beginning in 1964 with “Friday the Rabbi Slept Late.” Kemelman quickly followed with “Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry” and “Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home.” A native of Boston, Kemelman studied English and linguistics at Boston University and Harvard. He taught at Boston State College and Northeastern University, and began writing fictional detective stories for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Next came the Rabbi Small books set in Barnard’s Crossing, a fictional town not unlike Marblehead, Mass., where the author lived for 45 years. On Sunday in Marblehead of renal failure.