Our Lying Kin
Claudia Hagadus Long
May 30, 2023
The story of middle-aged sisters Zara and Lilly begins in Long’s fast-paced, first novel in this witty series, Nine Tenths of the Law, when Zara recognizes a family menorah in a New York City Museum. She remembers seeing it displayed thirty years before on a visit to the Jewish Museum, when her mother recognized it as a family heirloom. Zara is haunted by her mother’s memory, and schemes to get it back, but the menorah and other Holocaust art works suddenly disappear from the museum. The assistant who might have stolen it is murdered, and Zara hallucinates her mother’s experiences as a young girl in 1939, when Nazis took the family’s possessions and singled her out for “special duties.”
In Our Lying Kin (Kasva Press, 2023), Zara and her sister are just coming out of the long pandemic and planning a reunion when a woman calls, claiming to be related and demanding money. Now, Zara is dealing with both her mother’s and her father’s legacy. The sisters learn that the art thief/murderer who nearly killed Lilly has escaped from custody, and now the FBI is involved. The sisters spring into sometimes illegal action in this zany adventure about family, memory, International Art Theft, and figuring out what is worth preserving.
Claudia Hagadus Long is the author of six novels which span centuries and serious topics. All are fueled by history, family secrets and hidden scandals. They are also funny. Her own conflicted background provides ample fuel for the imagination. Though born stateside, Claudia grew up in Mexico City, came to the US permanently as a seventh grader, and is the daughter of Hungarians on one side and a Polish-Sephardic Holocaust survivor on the other. She received her BA from Harvard University, her law degree from Georgetown, and promptly fled to California. Besides writing and practicing law, she's a dedicated weaver and a passionate cook. Married, with two grown children and two grandchildren, she lives in the far reaches of Napa Valley, California, land of wine, hot springs, and earthquakes.