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Dream House [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Rochelle Krich
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 10 2004 Molly Blume Series (Book 2)
Friday, October 31. 9:37 p.m., 100 block of South Martel. A vandal threw a pumpkin through the front window of a house and several eggs at the front door. The police report read like just another Halloween prank - a nasty, petty act. But the attack is one in a recent spate of increasingly violent vandalisms targeting residents who have paid millions of dollars for their dream homes in the ritziest enclaves of Los Angeles. Residents are already seething, hotly divided about the growing number of Historical Architectural Restoration and Preservation (HARP) boards that prevent homeowners from remodeling their expensive real estate, forcing them to preserve the traditional integrity of neighborhoods where Hollywood legends once lived. So impassioned are pro- and anti-HARP forces that Crime Sheet columnist Molly Blume suspects that members from both sides of the debate may be perpetrating the vandalism that claims new victims almost daily. But the arson that destroys a house on Fuller Street doesn’t fit the pattern. This beautiful property belongs to Margaret Reston and her husband, Hank; and the sick old man who dies when it burns is Margaret’s father. Margaret herself has disappeared. She was last seen working in her garden five months ago - and although traces of her blood were found in her car, the police have no idea what has happened to the missing woman. This intrigue all makes good copy for hard-hitting newshound Molly. Almost in love again with the high-school sweetheart who dumped her and is now a rabbi, Molly can’t stop thinking about Margaret and Hank Reston and the old man whose life was tragically, though accidentally, cut short. But was it an accident? What has happened to Margaret Reston? Where does malice end and evil begin?

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

What's a girl to do when an article she writes provides an opportunity for a killer to strike or so she thinks? Well, if it's Molly Blume, Krich's Orthodox Jewish true-crime reporter and author, making her second smart, exciting appearance (after 2002's Blues in the Night), she'll investigate the crime herself until justice is meted out. When community members in several Los Angeles districts attempt to impose HARP (Historic Architectural Restoration and Preservation) status on their neighborhoods, effectively preventing the rebuilding and renovation of houses that don't comply with historic architectural standards, anger flares and some buildings are vandalized. Molly thinks she has found a pattern in the attacks, and despite pleas from local officials, includes much of her theory and findings in one of her weekly columns. To her chagrin, the next hit results in the death of an elderly man with Alzheimer's whom Molly has befriended in a fire that police classify as arson and that's the clincher that soon puts her on guard as she, too, becomes a target. With sensitivity, passion and an investigative approach that's on the money, the rebellious and independent Molly displays an uncompromising resolve to unearth the truth. Krich provides just enough clues in just the right places to keep readers on their toes, waiting for the resolution while hoping the mystery won't end quite yet.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Molly Blume is the first to admit she is nosy, impatient, and stubborn. But her character serves her well in her chosen profession: true-crime writer. Molly's radar bleeps when the death of a confused elderly man appears to be related to a rash of vandalism that she's been investigating. Good thing she's curious, as the death turns out to be murder, and the connection to the vandalism fades into the background in the face of the man's family squabbles and the strange disappearance of his daughter, Linney. Molly's ties to her Orthodox Jewish family (and to her new boyfriend, Zack, an Orthodox rabbi) seem especially strong juxtaposed against Linney's sad family history, and they add an extra element of reality to Molly's character, showing how she manages to derive pleasure and solace from both her work and her faith. There's an unusual neighborhood feel about this L.A. crime story that gives a strong sense of people living in a real community. Even readers unfamiliar with Molly's previous adventures can enjoy this one. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
IF YOU HAD ASKED ME BEFORE I HEARD OF MAGGIE Reston whether a house could be a magnet for murder, I would have automatically thought of The Dungeon, which is what we've always called the coal-gray house on Martel. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB READING Jan. 27 2004
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Remembered for her splendid performance of "Blues In The Night," actress/voice performer Deanna Hurst gives an equally listenable reading of Ms. Krich's latest.
When does an act of petty vandalism become an evil act? That's the thread of this compelling mystery starring Molly Blume, ace reporter of true crimes. Privileged residents of a luxe Los Angeles neighborhood are more than a little annoyed when pranksters (?) heave a pumpkin through windows and pitch eggs at front doors. Homeowners in this area expect the best, and are already ticked off at the preservation boards that prevent them from remodeling their pricey digs.
Then, more terrifying than annoying, fire breaks out on Fuller Street at the home of Margaret and Hank Reston. The ensuing flames take the life of Margaret's elderly father. To Molly, arson doesn't fit the pattern of thrown eggs and pumpkins. Furthermore, Margaret is missing. Last seen in her garden some five months before she seems to have vanished leaving only a trace of blood.
The police are stymied, and so is Molly. But she doesn't stop.
"Dream House" is a unique crime story sure to entertain and enthrall.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars SPLENDID VOICE PERFORMANCE Jan. 27 2004
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Remembered for her splendid performance of "Blues In The Night," actress/voice performer Deanna Hurst gives an equally listenable reading of Ms. Krich's latest.
When does an act of petty vandalism become an evil act? That's the thread of this compelling mystery starring Molly Blume, ace reporter of true crimes. Privileged residents of a luxe Los Angeles neighborhood are more than a little annoyed when pranksters (?) heave a pumpkin through windows and pitch eggs at front doors. Homeowners in this area expect the best, and are already ticked off at the preservation boards that prevent them from remodeling their pricey digs.
Then, more terrifying than annoying, fire breaks out on Fuller Street at the home of Margaret and Hank Reston. The ensuing flames take the life of Margaret's elderly father. To Molly, arson doesn't fit the pattern of thrown eggs and pumpkins. Furthermore, Margaret is missing. Last seen in her garden some five months before she seems to have vanished leaving only a trace of blood.
The police are stymied, and so is Molly. But she doesn't stop.
"Dream House" is a unique crime story sure to entertain and enthrall.
- Gail Cooke
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Good golly! Miss Molly! Nov. 9 2003
Format:Hardcover
Molly Blume doesn't like loose ends. Her career as a crime novelist free lance journalist involves making sense out of horrific bits and pieces taken from police blotters and weaving them into cohesive investigative reports. When the pieces don't fit, she wants to know why. A series of seemingly random acts of malicious vandalism in LA's exclusive Hancock Park catches her attention, and an initial swing through the neighborhood provides her with a first hand introduction to the kind of fiery dissension pro and anti-HARP (Historic Architectural Restoration and Preservation) forces have created in that area, an impression which is reinforced after she attends an acrimonious meeting where both factions are present. Her involvement with the dispute deepens and becomes more personal due to a chance encounter with former professor of architecture, Oscar Linney, whom she finds wandering the street in a mental fog and takes home to the house he once shared with his daughter Margaret and his irascible son-in-law Hank, thus precipitating her directly into the affairs of the troubled Reston family. Here are puzzles galore. It seems Margaret vanished without a trace five months ago, and now the house is up for sale. Inexplicably, a few days later, it burns to the ground with Linney trapped inside. While the police opine a case of HARP-related arson with tragic but accidental consequences, Molly's sense of order insists that there must be a connection between Margaret's disappearance and her father's death. Establishing it puts her right in the line of fire as she turns up enough missing links to eventually form a horrifying picture of greed, graft and corruption, point the police in the right direction to catch a clever and ruthless killer and write - 30 - to her story. Read more ›
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Format:Hardcover
Molly Blume, L.A. Freelance reporter, contacts the local police districts each week to compile the police reports for her Crime Sheet column in a weekly tabloid. From information her sister gives her, she determines that someone is vandalizing homes of the Historic Architectural Restoration and Preservation (HARP) board members. She starts looking into what HARP stands for and why so many people are against it. In researching this, Molly becomes acquainted with many of the board members.
Professor Oscar Linney is a former board member. One day she gives him a ride to his daughter's house, only to find they've moved and he is confused. Luckily a neighbor, Tim Bolt, comes to her rescue. She also discovers that his daughter, Margaret, has been missing for months.
Molly shares information from Detective Vince Porter, Wilshire Burglary division. He often assists her as well. Her best friend , Aggie Lasher, was murdered five years ago. Recently Molly was attacked and almost killed. These experiences have given her the resolve to get to the bottom of this situation to keep others from being hurt.
The violence escalates to arson and finally murder. Molly keeps digging to try to find out how everything is linked and the why.
This is the first I've read in this series. I highly recommend this book. I am really looking forward to reading more books about Molly Blume.
Ms. Krich creates three-dimensional characters and has a well-constructed plot and story. I was a little concerned when the book said "A Novel of Suspense" as I feel those are usually scary. I didn't find this to be true in this series.
This is a gripping novel and I had a hard time putting it down! The many interesting characters that Molly interacts with in her quest to find the truth are truly enjoyable.
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