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Crescent Blues Book ViewsBallantine Books (Hardcover), ISBN 0345449711
Rochelle Krich introduces a new suspense/mystery series with Blues in the Night. Once again drawing on news headlines and family relationships, Krich creates a well-researched, believable tale featuring an endearing, yet flawed, female protagonist.

Book: Rochelle Krich, blues in the nightMolly Blume, a freelance reporter and writer of true crime books, collects data from the Los Angeles Police Department. While collecting info, she runs across a mysterious accident: "Sunday, July 13. 1:46 a.m. Near Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon. An unidentified woman in her mid- to late- twenties, wearing a nightgown, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that left her unconscious and seriously injured. There were no witnesses."

Her curiosity tickled, Molly delves further, trying to discover why the woman was in the street, wearing a nightgown. Her search takes her to her friend Detective Andy Connors, of the Hollywood Division, who can't or won't explain the nightgown. Next she visits the victim, Lenore Saunders, in the hospital. But Lenore can't remember the accident. Instead she obsesses about Robbie and Max, whoever they are. But her visit with Lenore comes to an abrupt end when Lenore's mother evicts the "reporter" from the hospital room.

A partial message, left by Lenore on Molly's answering machine, sends her back to the hospital where she discovers Lenore -- no more. Dead, apparent suicide, the nurse tells her, but Molly suspects murder.

Krich's obligatory personal tale of Molly Blume's life begins with her name, which mimics that of the "sexually frank and willing heroine" of James Joyce's Ulysses. The loss of a friend to a brutal murder five years earlier compelled Molly to research true crime in an effort to uncover and understand the "caverns of the dark side of the mind." Molly's family and upbringing in Orthodox Judaism ground her, giving her faith to deal with the violence she encounters.

Book: Rochelle Krich, blood money
When Molly's sister sets her up on a blind date with Zach Abrams, Molly remembers when he dumped her and broke her heart in high school. But this Zach, now a rabbi, admits he stopped seeing her because he could get serious about her. Now, at a stage in his life when he wishes to settle down, he hopes to rekindle what could have been.

Molly's trust issues dovetail with Lenore's experiences with men who loved and left her. The mistrust Molly feels helps her understand Lenore's situation and ultimately leads Molly to uncover the secrets contained in Lenore's journal -- a journal everyone wants. But, did any of them want it enough to kill her?

Readers who enjoyed Krich's Jessie Drake series, will find a new friend in Molly Blume.

Dawn Goldsmith

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