Ballantine, Oct 2004, 24.95, 384 pp.
Molly Blume writes true crime books and works as a freelance journalist. Six years ago someone murdered her best friend Aggie; Molly mourned her loss, but hounded police even when they filed the homicide as a cold case. Sixteen days before her wedding to Zach, Detective Andy Connors asks her to identify a locket that he thinks belonged to Aggie. Molly confirms that it was Aggie's locket because of the red thread inside and a personalized inscription in Hebrew outside.
The jewelry was found in the apartment of Randy Creely, whom police believe died from an overdose and probably killed Aggie. Molly has doubts as she ponders why he kept the locket, sent letters asking people he abused to forgive him, and regularly attended Narcotics Anonymous. Randy's sister is contacted by a person who insists her brother was to send him a package that never came. He trashes her apartment and warns her that if she tells anyone, he will insure that is the last thing she ever does. Molly becomes convinced that Randy never killed anyone and was murdered. If she tracks down the thug who harassed Randy's sister she feels she can learn the truth.
The added fun of this fine amateur sleuth tale is Molly conducting an investigation while also preparing for her Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony. The mystery is a puzzler because Randy was not a nice person (understated) and is easy to see him as a killer just like the police do; Molly digs beyond the obvious seeking the truth. Between the insight into her religious beliefs and her inquiries, readers will send accolades to author Rochelle Krich for a fine tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner