Death in Lacquer Red: A Hilda Johansson Mystery

Jeanne M. Dams, Author Walker & Company $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3329-0
The author of the popular and acclaimed Dorothy Martin mysteries (Malice in Miniature, etc.) begins a new series featuring a turn-of-the-century Swedish servant woman as sleuth. Hilda Johansson is a maid for the prominent Studebaker family in South Bend, Ind., in the year 1900. Coming home from an outing with her beau, an Irish fireman, Hilda discovers the body of a savagely beaten woman. The dead woman is a missionary lately returned from China and the sister of the Studebakers neighbor, a Republican judge with political ambitions. Impelled to trying to figure out who perpetrated such as brutal crime, Hilda uses South Bends network of servants and immigrants to aid her investigation, fearing that an innocent man might take the blame for the killing. The resolution of the puzzle is a bit slapdash, relying too heavily on coincidence and not enough on real detective work. Hilda is nevertheless an appealing heroine, and Damss rich depiction of South Bend will please historical mystery fans. Mystery Guild main selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-8027-7609-9
Hardcover - 225 pages - 978-1-57490-240-2
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