Buy this book?

FERTILE GROUND
Avon, 1998
ISBN 0-380-78953-1

Buy this book?

BLOOD MONEY
Avon, 1999
ISBN 0-380-97379-0

Both by Rochelle Krich

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick

These two books give a new twist to the series concept. Instead of returning characters giving familiarity to story line, Krich uses modern Judaism and the way that contemporary women live with their connection with the religion of Solomon and David.

Both works have interesting plots with the usual suspects of money and power causing the commission dark deeds. The main character in both works is a smart professional woman in her mid-thirties with a man or two somewhere on the periphery of her life.

The MacGuffin in each story happens on the job, but the religious tie colors the way in which the heroine goes about unlocking the mystery.

In Blood Money, an elderly man is found dead in a park. He’s clutching a vial of heart pills, so the overworked coroner and busy police officials are more than willing to mark it up as death from natural causes. All the heroine, Jesse, has to do is find out who the man was and arrange for his remains to be delivered to his nearest kin. Along the way, she learns things about his past life, and her own, that enrich the tale and add complexity to the plot.

Fertile Ground takes place in the high pressure world of fertility clinics. The bottom line is king here. Big miracles can be bought for big bucks. There are huge numbers of aging affluent baby boomers with ongoing biological clocks who are more than willing to pay the bills which are rarely covered by health insurance.

The heroine here is a young doctor, the fiancée of one of the clinics founders, who is left wondering why her fiancé was murdered. Although at times she seems somewhat akin to those daft heroines who go wandering barefoot through drafty castles at night, she seems to have enough common sense to fight back when the bad guys come after her.

Yes, they would make excellent candidates for movies on the Lifetime cable network, but they would provide welcome relief from the usual disease of the week or female in peril variety.

This is more romantic suspense than straight mystery and both books are longer than the 300 page standard, but they’re well written and carefully filled with interesting detail.


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