April 22, 2016
Debra Goldstein has always loved reading a good whodunit, but the big mystery is how she found time to write two of her own. Goldstein, a former litigator and judge, mother of four and YWCA Central Alabama Board member, just celebrated the release of her second book.
Should Have Played Poker, published by Five Star Publishing, introduces Carrie Martin and her fellow sleuths, the Sunshine Village retirement home’s Mah Jongg players, who work together to solve the mystery of her mother’s murder.
Goldstein will have a book signing Tuesday, May 3, from 5-7 p.m. at Little Professor Book Center in Homewood. Royalties from the book sales will benefit the YW’s domestic violence services and Collat Jewish Family Services CARES Program, which serves dementia patients and their families.
“After serving on the bench for 23 years here in Birmingham, I decided to give writing a try,” Goldstein said. “I had written a good number of legal articles that were published but hadn’t done any non-legal writing until a few years ago. “After the husband of a friend saw a skit Goldstein had written for a leadership group graduation, he pulled her aside and said, “You can really write.”
That gave her the confidence she needed to pursue her passion. Her first book, Maze in Blue, was a mystery set on the campus of the University of Michigan, where Goldstein earned undergraduate degrees in English and History. It was released in 2011 and received a 2012 Independent Book Publisher Award.
Goldstein’s journey to becoming an author had a lot of twists and turns. After graduating from college, she moved to New York to pursue a career in the publishing industry and to try to get on Jeopardy. She accomplished both and enrolled in law school at Emory University. After serving as a litigator for 12 years, she was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge. She retired in 2014 to pursue her writing career.
“For me, reading a mystery is how I get my fun and escape,” she said. “Although I still write non-fiction and some literary short stories, when I decided to write novels, there was no question they would be mysteries.”
Despite her hectic schedule, Goldstein is an active community volunteer. She serves on national and local boards, including YWCA, CJFS, Alys Stephens Center,Sisters in Crime and Alabama Writers Conclave. She also is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Forum and Zonta Club of Birmingham.
In addition to the book signing, royalties from all books pre-ordered or purchased at Little Professor and all print books or e-books bought on Amazon through May 30, 2016 will be donated to the YWCA and CJFS.
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