on 2 July 1998
Fremont Jones is rudely awaken by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake at the beginning of Fire and Fog. It is only the beginning of the troubles San Francisco and Fremont face in this witty, engrossing book.
Somehow, Dianne Day manages to make Fremont's travails seem like adventures. Fremont is such a fearless, resourceful woman that she never seems like a victim. After all, this is a woman who defies conventions without apology, and accepts the challenges thrown her way without complaint.
It is 1906, and Fremont is a feminist, an atheist, and runs her own typewriting business. She also cares deeply -- about the welfare of her friends, about helping others, about justice. Her principles are not subject to negotiation, but she keeps an open mind about her views on less important subjects, like automobiles. Fremont isn't perfect (which would make her nauseating), but she is completely engaging and likable. San Francisco is the perfect setting to allow such an unconventional character to get some acceptance.
The setting (historically and geographically) is nicely drawn, without the author ever falling prey to "show-off" syndrome. That is, she does not lecture the reader, showing off the fruits of her research. The portrait of the time and place feel genuine, and the writing is elegant but never stuffy.
This is the first Fremont Jones book I've read, and I read it without knowing anything about the plot beyond the earthquakes and fire. I recommend reading it this way, so you can be as surprised by everything as Fremont is. I'm now reading the first book in the series, The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, and it is very good so far. There is some wonderful foreshadowing of events minor and major. The foreshadowing is yet another indication of the fine writing.
The author has obviously pondered the meanings and symbolism behind events like fire and earthquakes. These phenomena in a sense are more flagrant, larger-scale versions of the horrors of violence committed by people. People and ! nature may wreak havoc, and induce fear and suffering, but they cannot destroy hope.
Fremont encounters both natural and human-caused destruction -- and the latter is sometimes creepy. Yet it feels like Fremont is having an adventure, not being tortured. She's always brave, and even finds time to entertain thoughts of romance. I highly recommend Fire and Fog.
on 26 February 1997
After her last adventure, Fremont Jones concentrates on making her typing business a success so
that she never has to return to her father's Boston home and follow society's dictates on a
woman's behavior. Time would have turned her into a prosperous entrepreneur, but Mother
Nature interceded when the fires from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake aftermath destroyed
her business and home. Before the fire consumes her place of business, Fremont discovers a
cache of stolen artifacts and treasures hidden in a supposedly empty storage room.
With no means to earn a living and no place to reside, Fremont fears that she will have to return
to her Boston home. However, Fremont helps an injured acquaintance, Alice Raisely, who offers
her a place to stay. Fremont accepts the kind offer and moves into Alice's mini-mansion. She
soon finds herself in the middle of mysterious events that include a missing spouse and Alice's
paranoiac ramblings about people trying to break into the house. Although Fremont does not
take her house-mate's rantings seriously, she feels guilty when she returns home to find Alice
By the time Fremont goes to the police and returns, the corpse is missing and there is no evidence
that a murder even occurred. The police dismiss Fremont as a flake, which makes her even more
determined to discover what really happened. This rash decision places her life in jeopardy as she
tangles with intruders, death threats, and some ferocious Ninjas seeking their missing treasure.
Dianne Day's sequel to The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, the exciting first mystery in the
Fremont Jones series, is another winner that is sure to gain the author prominent recognition and
acclaim. Fire and Fog is a fast moving action packed who-done-it filled with a cast of colorful
characters to include friends from the first book. The back drop of the infamous earthquake and
the events immediately following the disaster give an added dimension to this colorful novel. This
authentic feeling allows people to feel as if they are eye witnesses to the calamity. A fun to read,
first rate tale that belongs on everybody's keeper shelf.
on 10 December 1998
This book, a sequel to the debut "The Strange Files of Fremont Jones" was a true page-turner. I literally read it all in a single day, finding every opportunity and staying up MUCH too late in order to finish it. Day's sleuth, Fremont Jones, lives in San Francisco, CA, around the time of the Great Quake, which takes place during the setting of this book. Her recounting of the mysteries which unfold in the chaos resulting from the quake renders the events of that time and the reality of what it must have been like to live through the quake compelling and real. Her characters are likeable and frustratingly real -- all the more so because they react in ways we have all seen ourselves react. I can't wait to read her subsequent novels featuring the intrepid Fremont.
on 30 December 1998
This book is about a young heroine, Fremont Jones who has to make something of herself after her business was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906. She has to overcome many plights in order to finally reach her goal. I liked this book because it was different, it didn't make girls seem weak.