2002-06-29 / Community

Author Uses Belle Harbor As A Setting For Murder A Wave Book Review

By Howard Schwach

Author Uses Belle Harbor
As A Setting For Murder
A Wave Book Review
By Howard Schwach

Bernard Schwartzberg spent his summers at the Roosevelt Hotel on Beach 124 Street when he was young.

"To me, Rockaway meant great times, the beach, the boardwalk," Schwartzberg says now. "Rockaway was a big part of my life."

That is why, when the retired author sat down to write a murder mystery, he had to set part of his book in Belle Harbor.

Set in 1953, Schwartzberg’s book, "Roseland: A Unique Crime Story. It weaves a story of murder and intrigue that winds itself from Brazil to Manhattan and, finally, to Belle Harbor.

Long-time Rockaway residents will recognize the landmarks as well as the time period.

For Example, "Even before reaching the shopping street, Brian knew that he was getting close when he spotted the black and white painted building that housed Curley’s Baths. He took the ramp down the eastern side of Beach 116 Street and walked past a large game room.

"When he and his sister were in their early teens, they spent almost every night after supper in that game area playing poker-roll. In order to win, they would roll a small black ball along a ten-foot wooden table, trying to put the ball into any one of several holes marked with the names of playing cards. "

If the remembrances of Rockaway are not enough, the central story of murder and betrayal will help the reader enjoy the book.

It is a story of a Rockaway man whose best friend is murdered on his Belle Harbor doorstep. When the police seem uninterested in the murder, he takes upon himself to hire a private detective and to personally join in the hunt for the murderer.

Schwartzberg, who lived on Beach 141 Street for many years, obviously remembers Rockaway fondly and it is treated fondly in the book.

"This story is taken from bits and pieces of my life," he says. "And Rockaway is a big part of that."

The book is available from 1stbooks Library at www.1stbooks.com.

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