Hilda Johanssen is no longer a house maid in the wealthy Studebaker home in South Bend, Indiana. She has married
Patrick Cavanaugh, former fireman and now part owner in his uncle’s store. With a fine home and servants, she is
having problems adjusting to her new life. She no longer fits in her servant world and is not accepted at the
social level of Patrick’s uncle and aunt. She is also caught between her Swedish family and Patrick’s Irish one.
Norah O'Neill, a maid and friend from Hilda’s previous life, begs for Hilda’s help. Norah’s husband, Sean, has
been arrested for the murder of a hired hand. Sean is innocent, but circumstances are against him. Hilda enlists
the aid of her Baker Street Irregulars (young boys poor and some homeless) to investigate the circumstances
surrounding the murder. In addition, she has her new society acquaintances organize a Christmas party for the
unemployed boys and helps form a Boys’ Club to help them.
Indigo Christmas gives a sense of the city and street life of the Midwest in 1904. There is a fascinating
picture of the daily life of all classes, their customs and prejudices. The characters are well developed as human
beings with natural stresses. The characters of the Street Boys are especially realistic. The discussion of class
distinctions is presented with a picture of the operations of households in different social levels. The dilemma
that faces Hilda is portrayed with sympathy.
This is an enjoyable and pleasant book to continue following the story of Hilda and her family and friends.
Hopefully there will be more to come.