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Why Jewish Crime and Mystery?
From the time I was young, I was curious about "subcultures" of American Judaism. Having grown up in Miami, I heard East European Jews playing balalaikas in South Beach parks, drove down Washington Avenue past Hasidic families with broods of children and went to school with Cuban Jews whose synagogues rang with prayers and songs in unfamiliar tongues. The Miami newspapers ran titallating stories about criminals with names like Lansky and Schwartz, whom I eventually learned were members of the Jewish syndicate.
So it's not surprising that when I began writing mystery and crime novels, my thoughts turned to the communities of my childhood. My first book, The Yiddish Gangster's Daughter, is based, to some extent, on stories I heard growing up. The Hasidic families who now play a prominent role in South Florida's cultural landscape planted the seed of an idea for my next book, tentatively entitled Unchosen. My third novel will likely explore the world of the Jewish Cubans who arrived in Miami after Castro's rise to power. Who knows what's next? I can't wait to find out.