Author in Search of a Title

Let me first start out by saying THIS IS NOT A CONTEST. But, feedback is important, so we’re going to try this as a blog post.

I am currently on the second draft of a new historical crime fiction series after the completion of the Ark City Confidential Chronicles. I am eagerly diving into the editing process, fleshing out the story, enhancing all the characters, and continuing my research to determine if everything is accurate.

All along during the development, I KNEW who my main character was to the extent I was imbuing him with more of ME than in my prior works. No problem there. The issue is I don’t have a definitive title. Oh, I’ve got ideas but nothing solid, nothing that would stand out.

So, let’s throw it out there. I’m going to give you a rough idea of the character and the story, present the first two paragraphs, and tell you kind of what I’m looking for. Respond on the blog or wherever this is posted. If someone miraculously comes up with something truly dazzling, they will get something. (But remember this is NOT a contest.) Ready?

Harold Bergman was an up-and-coming beat cop on the Wichita Police Department when he enlisted shortly after Pearl Harbor. Upon his return, he couldn’t bring himself to plying a trade dependent upon what was “legal” considering his war experiences. Neither could he follow his father’s long-held wishes of becoming a rabbi. He chose the middle ground and became a private investigator.

Two cases occur during this first installment: a wealthy businessman wants Harold to get his college aged daughter away from jazz musicians she has been hanging out with, and a colored woman wants him to find her husband who has likely got himself in trouble working under the table for nefarious individuals in order to make extra money.

My desire is to find a title that has some connection to Old Testament scripture. (Remember, Harold is Jewish.) There are themes of vengeance, justice, and retribution as well as a contemplation on Good and Evil (as you would imagine). Here are the first two paragraphs:

I am quite certain it was not my extensive work on divorce cases that brought me to the attention of Albert Whitman. A wealthy businessman who lives in Eastborough could easily go through a divorce between lunch and dinner without breaking a sweat. It was likely the discreet assistance I provided a former city councilman in retrieving his kidnapped daughter from a desperate ex-bootlegger and the notion in certain circles I could be trusted to keep the dirty laundry under wraps.

Over time, I learned any man could develop a taste for killing. Some eat it up with a spoon. Others choke on it and spit it out. After the war in Europe, I could not accept the old-fashioned notion of Law and Order and return to being an officer with the Wichita police department. By the same token, I was not able to bring myself to following my father’s dream of becoming a rabbi. I split the difference and became a private investigator.

Well, if something occurs to you, let me know!

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