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Murder in Burnt Orange by Jeanne M. Dams

Murder in Burnt Orange

by Jeanne M. Dams

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The year is 1905; the place is South Bend, Indiana; the season is summer; and the temperature is hotter than hades. Hilda is hot, miserable, and very pregnant. To take her off her misery, her aunt Molly suggests that Hilda should turn her detecting abilities to solving the rash of deliberate train derailments. Soon, other crimes and misfortune hit a bit closer to home. Hilda, still wretchedly hot with her temper sometimes flaring, is determined to uncover the guilty parties. But all her sleuthing – at least nearly all of it – must be done from home, since a pregnant lady cannot be seen in public, except for trips to church. But Hilda, being Hilda, does let propriety get in her way. This book practically gives off heat and humidity as the story develops. Engaging characters in a well-developed plot make this tale a very enjoyable cozy mystery. ( )
  Maydacat | Aug 19, 2016 |
Jeanne M. Dams’ Hilda Johansson series of historical mysteries is a pleasure to read. Set in South Bend, Indiana in the early years of the 20th century, Hilda is an immigrant, first a housemaid to the Studebaker family and now the wife of a merchant (a former firefighter, who’s come up in the world) expecting her first child. Hilda has never dealt well with rules and she finds the strictures surrounding her behavior as a married woman and an expectant mother, confining. Nevertheless, Hilda sets out to solve a mystery involving train crashes and labor unrest, even though she’s rarely able to leave her home.

This isn’t the most successful of the Hilda books, but it still makes for interesting reading. I recommend the series as a whole, highly.
  Dejah_Thoris | Feb 29, 2012 |
Hilda Johanssen Cavanaugh is back, and she is very great with child. Meanwhile, train wrecks and labor problems are happening in South Bend in the early twentieth century, and who better than Hilda to solve what the police have been unable to crack. Operating mostly from home, Hilda employs her network of acquaintances in a manner that would put many twenty-first century networkers to shame. I feared for the state of the Hilda series when she married and stopped working as a servant in the Studebaker house, but Hilda is back and just as good as ever. This is a really fun historical novel. And, the birth occurs in this book so there is no need to wait for the next installment, which is always an annoyance to me. ( )
  khiemstra631 | Oct 15, 2011 |
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Hilda pushed her plate away, ham and eggs untouched.
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It's a heat wave in more ways than one in the summer of 1905, as strikes, arson, and train wrecks threaten the fabric of civilized society in South Bend, Indiana. In the tumultuous first years of the twentieth century, anarchy seems to rule, with the assassination of an American president and labor unrest.… (more)

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