An Eye for Murder

Written by Libby Fischer Hellman
Review by Nicole Leclerc

Beginning with an exchange between two men in Prague in August 1944, the book proceeds to explore the ramifications of these events in the present. Ellie Foreman is a documentary filmmaker intent on helping people tell their stories. When an old Jewish man not known to her dies, and her address is found among his belongings, Ellie tries to determine the connection between them. This leads to minor and major crimes, a link to her father, politics, racism and events that happened during World War II.

               Ellie is an endearing character struggling to make a living for her daughter and herself despite the shenanigans of her ex-husband and the threats to her family. She becomes an amateur sleuth with believable motives and actions. The other characters are also well-rounded, and we learn a lot about film-making, the history of the Jewish community in Chicago, and politics. There are a little too many coincidences, however, in what Ellie calls Jewish geography, but the pace is quick and the story captivating.

               If you prefer historicals set squarely in the past, this book is not for you. But if you enjoy a story where past events affect the present, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.