Page 198 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Raphael
190
Almost always officially secular, (though some certainly are
more acculurated than assimilated) Jewish private investigators
populate the large cities and sometimes creatively fulfill their par­
ents’ dreams of being in business for themselves.5 In Los Angeles,
the Hollywood-style gumshoes are Moses Wine (the creation of
Roger L. Simon), Jacob Asch (the creation of Arthur Lyons), and
Jack Levine (the creation of Andrew Bergman). In Boston, one
meets the social worker-turned investigator, Matt Jacob (the cre­
ation of Zachary Klein). In New York, the private investigators
tend to be even more off-beat. Funny and raunchy best describe
Red Diamond (the creation ofMark Schorr), as well as Myron Bo-
litar (the creation of Harlan Coben). Somewhat cerebral is the
former center-fielder Harvey Blissberg (R.D. Rosen). Handsome
and self-reflective is the Archie Goodwin look-alike, Davey Gold­
man (created by a non-Jewish author, William Love, a former
priest). Finally, there is Kinky Friedman, the former rock-star who
is not bashful about writing and starring in his own “whodunnits.”
L IEUTENANTS
The Jewish big-city police lieutenant tries to balance his own
private Jewish life with police department politics and intrigues. It
is a world filled with ethnic and racial rivalries, and this area of
crime-solving is populated by the most popular police detectives.
Where the police procedural is preferred, then veteran Chicago
cop Abe Lieberman is perhaps one of the most popular. Created by
Stuart Kaminsky, there are already four books in this series. In the
most recent (1996),
Lieberman's Thief
Lieberman almost becomes
president of his Conservative
shul
, deals with the break-up of his
daughter’s marriage, and cares for his grandchildren, all the while
solving the murders. Back East, there is Irving Weinman’s charac­
ter, Len Schwartz, who has appeared in four novels, beginning in
4. Marilyn Stasio, “What’s Happened to Heroes is a Crime,”
New York
Times,
October 4, 1990, 7:1.
5. James Yaffe, “Is This Any Job for a Nice Jewish Boy?” In
Synod ofSleuths,
Jon L. Breen and Martin H. Greenberg, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1990.