Page 199 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Identity in Detective Fiction
1986 with
Tailor's Dummy.
Schwartz is a wise-guy New York po­
liceman who lives in Brooklyn and jogs in Prospect Park. Unlike
Lieberman, Schwartz comes to his Judaism ethnically, shares his
angst with his non-Jewish wife and is pre-occupied with how their
son is doing at Yale. All the while, he is dodging bullets, dealing
with drug lords, and treading his way gingerly in and out of the po­
lice department.
A more sedentary character is Quentin Jacoby, who was created
by J.C.S. Smith and made his first appearance in 1980 in
First Case.
A retired New York City Transit cop, Jacoby is a wid­
ower, living in Co-Op City (in the Bronx) and is bored with play­
ing cards with other retirees. For good reason he is a dedicated
subway rider, but finds his victims involved with escapades at the
local racetrack or in an exclusive restaurant in a lower-Manhattan
office tower. Nathan Shapiro, the creation of Richard Lockridge
who made his debut in 1971 in
Preach NoMore
, is a New York City
Police lieutenant who has an abiding certainty that his rank is
somebody’s astonishing mistake and that one day he will be found
out. More contemporary is Shelly Lowenkopf, the creation of Ri­
chard Fliegel who first appeared in 1986 in
The Next to Die
, begins
working in the Bronx, finds his way to Hollywood and then back
again to New York.
To date, female Jewish sleuths have primarily been young, sin­
gle lawyers. As a group they tend to spend more time concerned
with relationships, more energy devoted to their appearance, and
invest more passion (and less physical force) in their criminal inves­
Rebecca Schwartz, created by Julie Smith, is a young attorney
who usually unwittingly finds herself faced with a deathly problem
to solve while at the same time getting on with her career, respond­
ing to the advice of her Jewish mother and exploring the bound­
aries of her feminism. Liz Wareham, created by Carol Brennan, is
an older married woman who willy-nilly finds herself in the midst