Page 215 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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207
Identity in Detective Fiction
The New York detective decides to leave the big city after his wife’s
death and takes a job in a small town in the Rocky Mountains where he
goes to work as the investigator (Inspector Dave) for the Public De­
fender’s Office. The real story is about the interplay between him and
his mother who is the one solving the mysteries. It would not hurt the
series if “Mom” got a name and her character was more developed, but
there is a certain sweetness about the books that qualifies these as one
o f the few “Cozys” on the list
Af-fir-ma-tion
n.
Something affirmed; positive declaration; assertion.
In this context, the Jewish characters in the following novels are proud
o f their Jewish identity, and some aspect of Judaism serves to advance the
plot.
C
hafets
, Z
ev
.
-
Inherit the Mob.
New York: Random House, 1991.
Chafets,
oiJerusalemReport
and Likud fame provides us with some
real goodies when he introduces us to Jewish mafiosos, with a journal­
ist (William Gordon) who solves the mystery while in the middle o f a
family mess.
K
aminsky
, S
tuart
.
-
When the Dark Man Calls.
New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1983.
-
Lieberman’s Folly.
New York: Ivy Books, 1991.
-
Lieberman's Choice.
New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
-
Lieberman's Day.
New York: Henry Holt, 1994.
-
Lieberman's Thief.
New York: Henry Holt, 1996.
Certainly one of my favorites . . . Kaminsky gives us a real Jewish
cop from Chicago (Abe Lieberman) whose wife becomes the president
o f the Conservative shul in their neighborhood. He first appears as a
minor figure in the 1983 story, but is already the wise and unassuming
policeman. Kaminsky is one of the better writers of this genre (also
creating two other mystery series [non-Jewish]). whose characters
come across as believable and sympathetic.
K
ellerman
, F
aye
.
-
The Ritual Bath.
New York: Arbor, 1986.
-
Sacred and Profane.
New York: Arbor, 1987.
-
Milk andHoney.
New York: Morrow, 1990.
-
The Day ofAtonement.
New York: Morrow, 1991.
-
False Prophet.
New York: Morrow, 1992.
-
Grievous Sin.
New York: Morrow, 1993