When I started this blog, I thought I would use it to write about a lot of things ("raising a son on the autism spectrum, progressive politics, pop culture, and coffee addiction.") But in the blog, as in life, everything else tends to fade into the background as autism takes it's solo position on center stage. It's nice, then, to have some time off from work around the holidays to be able to continue to think, write, listen, practice, and do all the regular autism things and still have a little time for something else. So this week I've enjoyed long stretches of time with some very good books; one in particular seems worthy of a mention.
I have long been a fan of the mystery whodunit, starting back when I discovered Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins. For several years in Bud's infancy (before I had autism to occupy every waking moment), I indulged in mysteries like they were candy - until I discovered that, as with too much candy, I'd had so much that the thought of reading another could almost turn my stomach. So now they're a once-in-a-while treat, and I try not to waste the splurge on any old two-for-a-dollar chocolate bar.
For that reason I was thrilled when my husband returned from a trip with the Godiva of mysteries for me - the latest release from Rochelle Krich, Now You See Me. Krich writes mysteries that are easy to devour. The plots are tight, the characters are believable, and the writing is interesting. Perhaps instead of Godiva, though, it would be more appropriate to consider Krich's novels bags of Chanukah gelt, because in addition to being enjoyable stories of suspense, they also provide a fascinating perspective on the culture of Orthodox Judaism. In Now You See Me, as in most of Krich's previous novels, Judaism is both central to the plot and peripheral to it, in that it provides both pivotal plot points and the color and detail that make the characters real.
Now You See Me is the fourth installment in Krich's Molly Blume series, which centers on a crime reporter who is married to an Orthodox rabbi. In this latest novel, Molly works with the family of another rabbi whose teenage daughter has purportedly run away with a man she's met on the internet. The novel explores the many pressures that young people - not just those from strict religious backgrounds - face in the world today, and is a thrilling, suspenseful read. And for those fans who, like me, miss the police-detective-focus of Krich's previous Jesse Drake series, Now You See Me provides some welcome surprises as well.
So, Kol ha'kavod (kudos) to Rochelle Krich on another terrific novel - one that has given me Shavuah tov (a good week.)