Krich, noted by former L.A. Times reviewer Charles Champlin for her
"superior crime fiction," becoming a published writer was a fantasy.
"It was something I dreamed about," she says, "something that happened
to other people." That fantasy became reality in 1990 when Krich wrote
Where’s Mommy Now?, which won the Anthony Award for
Best Paperback Original and was filmed as "Perfect Alibi,"
starring Teri Garr, Hector Elizondo, and Kathleen Quinlan.
then Krich has published thirteen other novels, all critically acclaimed,
as well as several short stories, many of which have been nominated
for awards including the most recent, "Bitter Waters" (in Criminal
Kabballah by Jewish Lights), nominated for the Agatha, Anthony,
and Macavity Awards.
to her stand alone novels, she has written five Jessie Drake mysteries,
three of which were nominated for the Agatha Award. The fourth in
the series, Dead Air, won the Romantic Times Reviewers'
Choice Award for Best Mystery or Suspense. The fifth, Shadows
of Sin, was a national bestseller and an Agatha nominee. Krich's
works have been published in Britain, Iceland, Japan, France, Germany,
and Holland, Israel, and Spain.
of 2002, Ballantine published Blues in the Night, the
first in a new series. "Think Harry Kemelman's Rabbi Small, with the
rabbi's wife as sleuth," says Krich. "Think Nick and Nora Charles.
Then meet true crime writer Molly Blume. An Orthodox Jew, currently
unattached, who 'doesn't date rabbis.' Or so she says." Krich smiles.
Blues in the Night and its sequel, Dream House,
were nominated for the Agatha (Blues was also nominated for Best Novel
by the Southern California Booksellers Association). The third novel
in the series, Grave Endings, won the Mary Higgins Clark
and Calavera Awards. Coming this October is the fourth Molly Blume
mystery, Now You See Me.
of Holocaust survivors, Krich was born in Germany and lived in New
Jersey and in New York before moving with her family to Los Angeles
in 1960. With a master’s degree in English from U.C.L.A., she taught
high school English for eighteen years, chairing the English department
at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High Schools, and received the
Milken Families Foundation Award for Distinguished Educator of the
Year and the Samuel Belkin Memorial Award for professional achievement.
Past editor of the national Sisters in Crime newsletter and a former
director of the National Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers
of America, Krich remains active in both organizations and is a member
of the American Crime Writers League.
was still teaching and raising six children when she began her writing
career. "The juggling was difficult," she admits, "and I’ve made my
share of mistakes. At one point the hems of my daughters’ uniform
skirts were being held up by over a dozen safety pins, and I served
way too much macaroni and cheese! But somehow we all managed, and
my husband and children are wonderfully supportive. Which doesn't
mean that they're never cranky."
mysteries are attracting a growing number of readers and receiving
praise from reviewers who note Krich's fully realized characters,
careful plotting, page-turning suspense, and the seamless way she
weaves her Orthodox Judaism and contemporary social problems into
many of her works. "Krich," observes Kirkus, "doesn't shrink from
of Rochelle Krich is in her characters?
college I considered pursuing a career in law or medicine," Krich
says, "so I suppose I’m living those lives vicariously through my
heroines--attorneys, doctors, homicide detectives, journalists. They’re
all braver than I am, though, and younger." Many of her heroines practice
Orthodox Judaism -- like true crime writer Molly Blume -- or find
themselves drawn to it--like Jessie Drake, Krich’s series homicide
detective, who discovered only recently that she is Jewish.
Jessie, Krich has never held a gun, and while Jessie’s life is complicated
by lingering feelings for her ex-husband and a difficult relationship
with her abusive mother and emotionally needy sister, Krich, a proud
grandmother of seven, has been married for thirty-two years to the
father of their six children and cherishes her closeness to her brother
and his family . "I'm the stereotypical Jewish mother," she says.
"Probably too involved with my kids' lives."
Blume? "There's more of me in Molly," Krich admits. "Molly has never
held a gun, either, and unlike Jessie, she's close to her parents
and siblings and has no residual feelings for the ex-husband who cheated
on her. A major difference between the two characters? As someone
who is new to Judaism, Jessie is more of an outsider trying to fit
in, and her tone is questioning but always respectful. Molly will
give readers an insider's view of what to many is an exotic world.
And she'll do it with a little more humor, and a lot more irreverence.
Molly plays mah-jongg with her sisters. "I've been playing for over
thirty years every Monday night--barring Jewish holidays and deadlines.
It's my therapy."
credits her family for encouraging her to realize her dreams and helping
her remember what’s truly important. "I tend to become obsessive about
my writing," she confesses. "They keep me grounded."