I’m doing one last pass on the 3rd book in the Shmuley Myers series, The Property of Blood, before handing it off to an editor and page-setter to prepare for publication. That equates to a few months before publication.
These mysteries take place in an alternate reality, a few decades after the Citizenship From Conception Amendment was ratified around the time of the ascension of the American Moral Majority’s fundamentalism. Think late 70s and early 80s. The unintended consequences described in the books seemed to me an impossible reality when I wrote A Day at the Zoo in 2016.
But this is not a political screed about reproductive independence. When looking for a publicist, I gave one to a well-recommended agency. The owner indicated they were anti-abortion. “Someone on our staff is Jewish,” I was told about the Jewish content, in my opinion much the way “I have a Black friend” is used by racists. They declined to provide a quote because “they weren’t a good fit” for the project. And I get it, if this was a story about abortion.
I’m writing the Shmuley Myers murder-mystery series book #4 as I procrastinate writing this post. It’s an exploration of another culture much more in the style of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chambon than it is the Rabbi Small mysteries, as in Harry Kemelman’s Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home series.
The series is also, at its heart, a love story about a married couple facing issues ranging from faith to family to dangerous secrets. So yes, in this alternate reality, abortion is a federal crime, and the Preborn Investigation Bureau was formed because of it. Just like in real life, there are good PIBniks and bad ones. The characters and the story that star in my books, not a hook a tenet of one religious sect’s opinion on which to hang all reality.
Back to book #4…