There are several books I can suggest. I had been playing for over ten years when I stumbled upon "The ABC's Of Chess," by Bruce Pandolfini. Until reading this book, I was mostly spinning my wheels in the mud so to speak.
When Pandolfini explained the four basic tactics of chess, the pin, the skewer, the fork and the discovered check, it opened up a new world for me and I started winning a lot more games. The best advice I can give you is to check out any of his books or anything Yasser Seirwan has written on strategies of the game.
There is no "crash course" that I know of other than studying and playing. I hope this advice will help you on your way.
By the way, another good piece of advice is until you get your game down soundly, don't mess with blitz chess. It's what ruined my game more than anything, but that is another subject for another hub.