Archive for 'Dams, Jeanne M.'
In CRIMSON SNOW, Hilda Johansson is pressured by her brother Erik to look into the disappearance of his sixth-grade teacher. Hilda is an immigrant from Sweden and is now a maid at the Studebaker mansion in South Bend, Indiana, in the year 1904. But she has also had success at solving mysteries, and when the body of the young teacher is found in a shed near her rooming house, first Erik and then a friend of the Studebakers ask her to help find the killer. Since the Studebakers are willing to give her time off from her job to investigate, she canâ€™t really say no.
In addition to investigating the murder, Hilda is trying to sort out her own life. Her job is very demanding and is made worse when the butler becomes very ill. She is being urged to marry by her Irish Catholic sweetheart, but canâ€™t imagine marrying outside her Lutheran religion, let alone how the two of them would live together on so little money. And she is worried about her family â€“ how they are adapting to their new country and about the safety of her younger sisters who must walk the wintry streets in the dark to and from their jobs. Are any of the young women safe with a killer on the loose?
In CRIMSON SNOW, Dams tells us a wonderful story about the life of immigrants in this country near the turn of the century. She includes, quite casually, elements of daily life that are so different from the way we live now that they are striking when you think about them â€“ children working in factories, hotels, and as servants, families forced by circumstance to live apart, and walking as the primary means of transportation, even in winter and over great distances.
This is a very enjoyable book to read and really pulls the reader into the time period and setting. While Dams wrapped up the rest of the loose threads in Hildaâ€™s life nicely, the end of the mystery itself fizzled out in an unsatisfactory way. But I wonâ€™t complain too much about that because the rest of this well-written book was so good.
Favorite character? Hilda, a tremendously likeable character. Very noble. Did I guess it? Not really, I was involved with the characters. Will I read another? Yes, this was a very good and interesting read.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007