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by Rochelle Krich
Ballantine, October 2002
337 pages
ISBN: 0345449711

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This novel introduces Ms Krich's new series, with sleuth Molly Blume leading the action. Molly writes True Crime books under a pseudonym and she's a reporter for Crime Sheet, a weekly throwaway (Molly's term) based in Los Angeles.To do this she collects data from the LAPD. However, Molly is not always content to just report the facts, she gets involved in following clues. Molly is a divorcee, and a devout modern orthodox Jew. One of the very interesting elements in this novel is that Ms Krich not only mentions some orthodox Jewish customs and terms, she explains them, without interfering with the story.

In this story, Molly is intrigued by a report of a young woman who is the victim of a hit and run accident in the middle of the night that has left her unconscious and seriously injured.Most intriguing was the fact that she had been wearing a nightgown.

Molly is soon involved in Lenore Saunders story, even managing to get in to see her in the hospital, which results in her receiving a phone call from her later. But when Molly tries to see Lenore again, she is greeted with the news that the young woman is dead, an apparent suicide.

Investigating Lenore's life in order to determine if Lenore really did commit suicide, and if so, why, Molly interviews friends and relatives including Lenore's ex-husband Robbie. It's not long before she becomes fairly certain that Lenore was murdered and determines to find out by whom. I'm not going to say anything more about the plot for fear of committing a spoiler, but I'll add that there are plenty of twists and surprises in the intricate puzzle at the heart of this well-written, perfectly plotted mystery.

Ms Krich is a wonderful writer. A great deal of likeable warmth comes through the character of Molly Blume and in her feelings about her grandmother Bubbie G, and also in the new feelings she's experiencing for attractive Zack Abrams, whom she'd loved and lost years ago, but who has just come back into her life, now a rabbi.

(note: This Zack is far removed from the Zack in my Charlie Plato series, but has a similar effect on Molly, that my Zack has always had on Charlie. Yes, I know it's bad form to do BSP in the middle of a review of someone else's book, but there it is! )

It looks as if Zack is here to stay and it will be interesting to see how the romance between him and Molly develops. As it surely will develop. Molly's not only warm and compassionate, she's tough too, and fortunately there are men who love strong women. I'm already looking forward to the next Molly Blume story.

Reviewed by Meg Chittenden, January 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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