Saturday, February 4, 2012

David Justice 2.0

We saw the terrific film "Moneyball" last weekend. It's certainly worthy of its Best Picture Academy Award nomination, and even the award itself were it to win. Brad Pitt was also worthily nominated for Best Actor, playing the part of Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane.

This based-on-a-true story follows Billy Beane's experiment with evidence-based sabremetrics to build a championship team with considerably less money than big teams such as Yankees. A part of his strategy involved acquiring David Justice, whom other teams believed was past his prime and therefore not an asset. That David Justice is the same famous ballplayer who was married to Halle Berry.

If you haven't already run across the works and writings of the other David Justice, you have are about to experience entertainment at the opposite end of the spectrum from baseball.

David Justice the writer is a bit older than David Justice the baseball player, so he has the original claim on the now famous name. He's a mathematician and linguist, best known for his acclaimed Semantics of Form in Arabic in the Mirror of European Languages.

But even more interesting is that this academic thinker also penned a body of thoughtful and entertaining detective fiction.

His stories have been published in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock. They follow private investigators Michael Xavier Murphy and his brother Joey. But these are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill detective tales. David Justice does homage to the genre by crafting well-written stories that feature mysteries which the Murphy Brothers solve. But each story also explores another level of the human condition, as the Murphy Brothers are ever searching out the deeper questions of the meaning of life itself.
A perfect example of this dual purpose can be found in the first novel-length Murphy Brothers story, Murphy on the Mount. On one level, it's a gripping and action-packed mystery which sees the detectives following tenuous clues cross country. But at the same time, Michael Murphy struggles with the angst of whether he has perhaps committed the Unpardonable Sin and is therefore damned for all eternity. David Justice manages to weave the two plots into a fascinating and complementary tension, with dramatic conclusions of both.

The David Justice stories which were published in Ellery
Queen and Alfred Hitchcock can be read in the short story collection I Don't Do Divorce Cases, along with several never-before published David Justice stories.

David Justice was the Editor of Pronunciation and Etymology at Merriam-Webster. In his writing, he vividly depicts the Jersey accent of the Murphy Brothers, making the characters come alive off the page.

Buy the works of David Justice today. And you can read more of his delightful writing on matters ranging from world events, philosophy and theology, and pop culture on his blog The World of Dr. Justice. He also blogs on the Murphy Brothers. Get started today on reading the works of the brilliant writer and thinker David Justice.

To hear Dr. David Justice himself in a dramatic reading from his novel Murphy on the Mount, watch this video:

1 comment:

  1. You delicately refrain from mentioning that this rag-clad tatterdemalion author suffers from *hypoyachtopoenia*. All may read about this tragic condition here: