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Blues in the Night [Mass Market Paperback]

Rochelle Krich
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2003
Sunday, July 13. 1:46 A.M. Near Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon. An unidentified woman in her twenties, wearing a nightgown, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that left her unconscious and seriously injured. There were no witnesses.

So reads the report on the accident off Mulholland Drive in Molly Blume’s Crime Sheet column for a weekly Los Angeles tabloid. Just another small L.A. tragedy, soon forgotten.

But the image of the young woman in her nightgown stumbling along a dark, winding road is one Molly, a freelance true-crime writer, cannot shake. In fact, it draws her to a bedside in intensive care, where the victim whispers to her three names: Robbie, Max, and Nina. It’s not a smoking gun, but is sufficient to reinforce Molly’s gut instinct that there are sinister circumstances behind the assault on Lenore Saunders.

With fearless conviction, Molly asks questions that nobody—including Lenore’s mom, her ex-husband, her shrink, or even Molly’s L.A.P.D. buddy, Detective Connors—wants to answer. Nevertheless, the astute Molly discovers Lenore lived a fractured life, so different from Molly’s own secure and loving Orthodox Jewish background. And as a chilling picture of the unfortunate woman begins to take shape, the menace of murders past and present stirs and quickens.

In her first Molly Blume novel, award-winning novelist Rochelle Krich tells a story in the tradition of the great L.A. mysteries of the past—and introduces an investigator who is pure gold. Twentysomething divorcee Molly Blume, with her deep faith, short skirts, and nose for the truth, is a heroine to cherish.

From the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

With Los Angeles true-crime writer Molly Blume (yes, she gets teased about that a lot), Agatha Award winner Krich (Shadows of Sin and four other Jessie Drake mysteries) introduces a smart new heroine in a new suspense series. Molly finds her stories everywhere and has learned to respect that tingle that tells her she's onto something. When a newspaper snippet about a young woman nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver snags her attention, Molly plunges headfirst into the story. It's a bit like falling into the rabbit hole, for the more she learns about the victim, the less she understands. The young woman may have been a tragic figure who killed her infant son while suffering a postpartum psychosis, or a very clever manipulator who planned the murder even before the child was born. She may have committed suicide in the hospital, or she may have been murdered. Molly's onion-peeling investigation will appeal to those who read mysteries for the pleasure of solving an intricate puzzle. Equally appealing, enough to make us wish for more, is the affectionate portrait of a large, boisterous Jewish family. Everyone needs a wise grandmother like Molly's. A sideline love story is a bit of a throwaway, but the fascinating look inside the culture and rituals of Orthodox Judaism more than makes up for it. Krich nicely captures the sense of community that religious faith can create, and she skillfully paints the special beauty of the desert landscape outside L.A.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Molly Blume is a modern Orthodox Jew who just happens to be a true-crime writer. It's an unusual combination, perhaps, but Molly (and Krich) makes it work--as well here as in past Blume mysteries. In this one, about devotion misplaced and forgiveness well earned, the mysterious circumstances surrounding a hit-and-run victim force the inquisitive Molly to reexamine a past tragedy that involves the same players as the current conundrum. As Blume fans have come to expect, no matter how tantalizing the mystery, dedicated Molly always finds time to celebrate her faith and visit with her family. This time she also takes an opportunity to wrestle with the possibility that the new rabbi, who broke her heart when they were teens, is worthy of another chance. By the close, the villains, of course, come to light, but the romance with the rabbi, though promising, still isn't a done deal. Give this engaging mystery to patrons who like a milder sort of suspense, with ample religious context. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another episode in the life of a spunky sleuth Sept. 22 2003
"It was the nightgown that hooked me.
Sunday, July 13. 1:46 A.M. Near Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon. An unidentified woman in her twenties, wearing a nightgown, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that left her unconscious and seriously injured. There were no witnesses."
So begins Blues in the Night, Agatha Award winner Rochelle Krich's first novel starring Molly Blume (shades of James Joyce's Ulysses), a 29-year-old, five-feet-four blonde divorcee who is a freelance reporter for Crime Sheet, a weekly Los Angeles tabloid.
A lovable character who is Modern Orthodox Jewish (an oxymoron?) by religion, Molly is not only a true-crime writer but also an amateur sleuth who wears short skirts, loves to play mah jongg, and, although not having a well-stocked frige, hordes a serious stash of junk food.
Intrigued by the newspaper snippet of the hit-and-run accident off Mulholland Drive, Molly visits the hospital and talks with 26-year-old Lenore Saunders, who is recovering from the trauma, but who remembers nothing of the accident. She does, however, whisper three names to Molly: Robbie, Max, and Nina.
The plot thickens when a nightshift nurse discovers Lenore's dead body, her wrists slit open. Was it suicide or murder?
Was Lenore an angel, a tragic figure who killed her infant son while suffering from a postpartum psychosis? Or was she a devil, a manipulative schemer who planned the murder even before Max was born.
Suspicious that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, Molly digs into the case and finds stubborn resistance from Lenore's mother, Betty Rowan; Lenore's ex-husband, Robbie Saunders; Lenore's best friend, Nina Weldon; and Lenore's shrink, the brilliant and ambitious Dr. Lawrence Korwin.
Even Molly's L.A.P.D.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful mix of romance and suspense May 30 2003
This delightful mix of romance and suspense, charismatic characters that inspire interest set in the always quirky Los Angeles, made for a really good read. Molly Blume is a Modern Orthodox divorced crime reporter with a couple of true crime books under her belt. She has a family that is loving and close, but not too close, and a job that she loves. When her high school sweetheart Zack Abrams dumped her, she moved on and in fact married, albeit badly. But Zack comes back to town as the new Rabbi of Molly's ex's synagogue and before you can say Yenta, they are out on a date while Molly wonders if history is going to repeat itself. Meanwhile, Molly is intrigued by a story of a hit and run that happened in a ritzy area of town during the middle of the night, but what intrigues her most is that the woman was hit while wearing a nightgown. While she pursues her story, the Rabbi pursues her. Krich was thoughtful enough to include a page of pronunciations for the Yiddish scattered throughout the book, but some of the explanations inserted into the story were distracting. Despite that minor grievance, I thoroughly enjoyed this book reminiscent of early Faye Kellerman, and I'm looking forward to the next one in this new series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing--great characters Jan. 27 2003
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Start of what promises to be a great series Dec 1 2002
Rochelle Krich has, temporarily I hope, abandoned Jesse Drake for a new series featuring young, divorced Molly Blume (with requisite literary references) who is a journalist covering the crime beat in the Los Angeles area as well as writing true crime books under another name. "Blues in the Night" begins when a young woman in a nightgown is seriously injured by a hit and run driver late at night, Molly is intrigued. She visits the woman in the hospital, but she is under sedation and mutters a few words, including names, that Molly finds incomprehensible at first. A message from the woman on her answering machine sends Molly back to the hospital where she discovers that the woman has supposedly committed suicide. Molly doesn't buy it and begins to dig deeper. Was Lenore a victim or a manipulative predator? Molly finds many conflicting opinions and then another murder raises the stakes. This is a great start to what promises to be an intriguing series. Molly's Orthodox Judaism is a very important part of who she is and I found the rituals, etc. fascinating without ever losing anything from the plot of the book. I do want more Molly. "Blues in the Night" is highly recommended.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great story, interesting heroine
This is a good mystery wrapped up in good writing. The heroine, a free-lance true crime writer, gets interested in the report of an accident because her attention is caught by one... Read more
Published on Dec 20 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Post Partum Blues, That Is
I picked up Krich's Blues in the Night because I was interested in the depression theme and the Orthodox Jewish protagonist. I came away satisfied. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2002 by Martha E. Crites
5.0 out of 5 stars KRICH DOES IT AGAIN!!
In line with Fertile Ground and Fair Game, among others, Rochelle Krich has once again created a wonderful protagonist. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2002 by MSC
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful New Series
BLUES IN THE NIGHT is the first entry in a new series by Rochelle Krich. The protagonist, Molly Blume, writes true-crime books and works as a free-lance reporter who collects data... Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2002 by Susan Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues in the Night
Molly Blume is a true crime writer and a freelance reporter on the crime scene. She assembles odd and unusual crimes for the local independent throwaway. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2002 by Sally Fellows
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
No self-respecting mystery fan can afford to pass this one up. Rochelle Krich's writing is so fluid she carries you easily through the book from first page to last. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2002 by Judith Rochelle
2.0 out of 5 stars Blues in the Night
This was my first venture into the world of Rochelle Krich, and I wasn't terribly impressed. While the main character Molly Blume was likable enough, the plot was somewhat simple... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2002 by C. S. MCBRIDE
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy!
There is nothing more I can say about this book. You must pick up a copy and see for yourself this excellent and enjoyable read
Published on Oct. 28 2002 by Daniel E Schonbrun
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight, Tense, and Compelling.....
"It was the nightgown that hooked me." Meet Molly Blume, modern Orthodox Jew, true crime writer, and freelance reporter for the local crime sheet throwaway you find at... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2002 by Roz Levine
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