Jewish Mystery and Food Writer
Since receiving her MFA, the Miami native has focused on writing crime-related novels that explore subcultures of American Judaism. Her first book, Still Missing Beulah: Stories of Jews and Blacks in Mid-Century Miami, explores the racism and anti-Semitism that tarnished Miami's past and informed the relationship between the two minority groups. She recently completed The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, a novel in which a Boca Raton food writer’s life is endangered when she discovers her father was a gangster with the Jewish mafia. The novel explores the precarious and colorful world of the Jewish gangster of 1940s and 1950s New York and Miami while showing how a father’s love and a daughter’s forgiveness can bring redemption to even a hardened criminal. It was one of three 2011 Claymore Award finalists and an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award finalist.
When she’s not working on a novel, Joan is testing recipes and writing food columns and articles, playing classical and Irish violin, sailing, bicycling and reading.