Rob Bates did not set out to write a cozy mystery, a subgenre of crime fiction in which an amateur detective, typically a woman, solves a murder in a small town. But in “A Murder Is Forever,” a novel published in October by Camel Press, he wrote just that — except the small town is New York City’s diamond district.
The heroine, Mimi Rosen, is an unemployed journalist who makes ends meet by answering phones at her father’s diamond business on West 47th Street. When a dealer in the district’s tightknit community of Orthodox Jews is murdered, she is determined to bring the killer to justice.
As news director of JCK, a 151-year-old jewelry trade publication based in New York — where he works with me, the editor in chief — Mr. Bates is familiar with the district and its people.
“I’m 54 years old, and I’ve known some of these people since I was 25,” he said. “A lot of the [book’s] dialogue is taken from actual conversations.”
Following are edited excerpts from our discussion about the novel. The mystery is centered on a pink diamond and a laboratory grading scandal. Why the focus on grading?
For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/fashion/jewelry-mystery-new-york-diamond-district.html