The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran
It is my pleasure to welcome Joan Lipinsky Cochran
to Escape With Dollycas today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a former journalist and freelance writer who got my MFA about ten years ago and have been focusing on mystery and crime writing since. I’m from Miami but now live in Boca Raton with my husband and cat and love everything about the beach from reading while listening to waves to snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and kayaking. I also enjoy finding settings for murders here, which isn’t hard given the swamps and bodies of water around South Florida.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
That I play both classical violin and Irish fiddle and am working up a set of tunes in both genres with my husband on the hammered dulcimer.
That I really enjoy refinishing furniture and wicker although I swear to myself each project will be my last.
What is the first book you remember reading?
I can’t be specific but I have clear memories of bringing the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary home from our neighborhood library and reading them under the covers at night. My snitch of a sister ratted on me.
What are you reading now?
What books have most inspired you?
So man! Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises for his spare writing style, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany for plotting and psychological depth, Catcher in the Rye for voice, Anais Nin’s Diaries because she helped me understand what it means to be a woman writer.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
I loved reading them and kept my eyes open for years for the spark that would get me going. I was a science writer for more than a decade and came across a “perfect” way to murder someone, then integrated that with my interest in the Cuban revolution. Voila, a mystery. It’s still in a drawer somewhere.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
My preference is the second floor of the library near my house, in an open area that overlooks a lake. They used to have a café where I’d pick up coffee. Since COVID, I write at the roll-top desk my mother got me when I was 16 and which sits in my son’s old bedroom.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
Conversations with friends, family, and strangers, newspaper, internet and magazine articles, eavesdropping, and events I witness in public.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Staying focused. Sitting at my desk and writing without letting myself become distracted. It sounds crazy, but eating Tootsie Roll pops or practicing the violin seems the most effective method for getting my focus back.
What do you think makes a good story?
I love strong interesting and quirky characters who react in a surprising manner when put in tough or unusual situations. I also enjoy reading about unique settings from bowling alleys to European chateaus.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
Becks, my protagonist, is closest to what I’d like to be. She’s strong, determined, and smart and doesn’t take any guff but is still warm and nurturing. She’s taller than I am and much tougher on her husband.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
Well, first, I am exploring subcultures of American Judaism through mysteries, which I haven’t seen before. Investigating a murder gives Becks a very good excuse for asking personal questions and exploring unique communities that might not otherwise be available. Also, I’m told my characters are genuine and relatable and that my readers get swept into the world I’ve created.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m working on a murder mystery that involves the Jewish Cubans (Jewbans) who moved to Miami in the wake of Fidel Castro’s revolution. It’s a fascinating story about determined and resilient individuals who will go to any length to succeed in their new country. The origins of that murder date back to events that occurred during the post-revolutionary period, while the story will put Becks in touch with her Cuban family members and reveal old family secrets.
Thank you Joan for visiting today!
I reviewed The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son last Saturday.
Click this link if you missed it!
About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF
Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.
More About Joan Lipinsky Cochran
Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.
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April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Reading Author’s Network – REVIEW, RECIPE
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