The Past is Never Dead
The Past Is Never Dead: A Gritz Goldberg Mystery
by David Schulman
Middle-aged shrink David “Gritz” Goldberg is enjoying lunch one day when he receives a message to hurry to the historic Battery Park Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, where an unidentified man is preparing to leap to his death.

The predicament, as it turns out, is both more and less dire than it first appears. The man has no intention of jumping. He is T Royal, Gritz’s childhood caretaker, back in Asheville after a long absence to live out his retirement. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, since his return, T has been plagued by the ghost of Mordecai Moore, a young black man put to death sixty-five years earlier for a murder he didn’t commit.

In 1939, a girl was killed at the hotel just prior to President Franklin Roosevelt’s visit to Asheville during a Southern campaign swing. T was with Moore that night and knew he didn’t do it but couldn’t testify because of the racial climate of the time.

Working from the same office where Zelda Fitzgerald once shared secrets with her own psychiatrist, Gritz and T form an unlikely duo. They stumble across dirty history involving members of Gritz’s own synagogue, as well as locals connected to Willard Dudley Paully, the head of a group of Nazi sympathizers known as the Silver Shirts. Eventually, Gritz finds himself set up to take a murder rap. That is, until the mystery leads him to a corrupt senator, a red-hot shiksa nurse, a séance led by a massage therapist, a mute old lady with computer skills, and a local salvage company that may have changed the course of world history.

The Past Is Never Dead introduces a reluctant, quirky sleuth unlike any other. Readers will enjoy searching out the real-life parallels in Asheville, a town equal parts historic and New Age.
Book Details
Price: $22.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: John F Blair    
Pub; (June 2004)
ISBN: 0895872900