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Murder in Burnt Orange
Hilda Johannson Series, No 7
Jeanne M Dams

Perserverance Press
Sept 2010/ ISBN 97815647450335
Historical Mystery / South Bend Indiana / Early 1900s

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

Hilda Johannson, now married to Patrick Cavanaugh and living as a lady, is nine months pregnant and driving her family and servants miserable because of the discomfort from her pregnancy and the heat and humidity. Her mother and Patrick's Aunt Molly conspire to elevate the situation by interesting her in the recent spate of train wrecks and fires. They ask her to employ her "thinking" to find the solution to the troubles. Some think the troubles are caused by the unions; but others feel there is an evil force behind them.

Hilda is unable to go out in public to find the answers to her questions so she enlists the aid of her brothers and the young members of her Baker Street Irregulars and her friend, Detective Lefkowitz to do the research for her. Studying the ideals behind the unions she becomes conscious of her own situation as an employer and worries about how she is treating the people who work for her. The trouble comes to a head when the Malloys’ son, Clancy, becomes involved and is killed. Hilda assembles all the facts and "thinks" , who knows? Maybe she can solve the problems that the police cannot.

This is another appealing story about the life of an immigrant woman in the early 1900's. Hilda is a resourceful, intelligent, stubborn and loyal woman. This book portrays a picture of family life in South Bend, Indiana with its social mores and its social divisions. There is an accurate picture of the beginnings of the labor unions and its ramifications.

Murder in Burnt Orange is complex mystery in a well-written series...

Reviewer's Note: Hilda Johannson Series
Reviewed 2011
© 2011