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Murder in Burnt Orange: A Hilda Johansson Mystery (Hilda Johansson Mysteries) Paperback – 9 Sep 2011

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Murder in Burnt Orange 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 like the Anthracite Coal Strike bringing misery to millions. How can a Swedish immigrant like... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Murder in Burnt Orange is Blazing Hot! 14 Sept. 2011
By Nora A. Deret - Published on
Format: Paperback
Murder in Burnt Orange
By Jeanne M. Dams
Copyright September 2011
Publisher Perseverance Press

Hilda Johansson, formerly a housemaid and now a lady, is pregnant with her first, longed-for child--but she's miserable in the scorching Indiana summer heat in 1905. Since she's making everyone else miserable as well, her family encourages her to look into some current local crimes to take mind off her discomfort. No one thinks she'll actually be able to solve matters of labor unrest, arson, and train wrecking, especially since custom forbids her even leaving the house. But they reckon without Hilda's quick mind and stubborn determination to see the job through--even when the crime wave turns into murder, and touches her nearest and dearest.

Hilda is not happy. In fact she hot, tired, restless, crabby, touchy, and making everyone in her house unhappy also. Hilda is six months into her first pregnancy (and a/c hasn't been invented yet) and just can't sleep or get comfortable. Her mother and her aunt Molly decide that what she needs is something to take her mind off her body and put her brain to use solving a mystery.
At first her husband is happy to go along with this since Hilda won't be going out of the house, sticking her nose into things. The plan is for her to do all the brain work and have her "Baker Street Irregulars" help her out. Her mother and Aunt Molly also will keep their ears open for information that will help her solve this problem.
The "problem" is a series of train accidents that are unexplained and done purposely by person or persons unknown for purpose unknown at this time. Innocent people have been hurt and killed. The reason the problem is brought to her attention is that members of the family travel on the trains to get back and forth from South Bend to Indianapolis.
We're going to be involved with Unions, Union Busters, Gangsters, and Pinkertons. How will it all turn out you ask? Well you'll just have to read the book.
Jeanne M. Dams' can be found at her website [...]
FTC Full Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes that I would review it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
fun historical amateur sleuth 7 Sept. 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Paperback
Independent Hilda Johansson emigrated from Sweden to South Bend, Indiana to become a housemaid at Tippecanoe Place. Strong willed to make it on her own, fireman Patrick Cavanaugh and Hilda fall in love. They marry despite objections from both their families. She becomes a lady when her spouse becomes nouveau riche working for his uncle's high income store Mallory's Dry Goods. The oppressive heat of the summer of 1905 makes pregnant Hilda miserable and cranky.

To get the cranky Hilda's mind on something else, Patrick's Aunt Molly challenges her to use her cognitive skills to hear and see people she trusts to learn who ruined the switch on the train tracks deliberately killing and injuring crew and passengers. Hilda investigates the derailment and other recent nearby activity that involves unions, arson, and murder. An enemy of Patrick and Hilda orchestrates these disasters for a puppet master who wants both Cavanaughs dead.

A Hilda Johansson amateur sleuth is always fun to read because the recurring cast starting with the heroine come across as friends and bring to life small town Indiana at the turn of the previous century. The whodunit is complex with several twists and theories adding complications to "General" Hilda who commands her loyal troops because they trust she will solve the case.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love Hilda 31 Aug. 2013
By Anne Meyer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I surely hope this isn't the last Hilda Johansson book. Events in this book will make the following stories even more fun.
Light weight entertainment with historical content 26 Feb. 2013
By Agatha Marple - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One cavet with my critique, I read this book without reading any of the other 5 or 6. I did not realize it was the last written of the series. That said, it is not difficult to pick up here because there are plenty of unobstrusive explanations of the past. I enjoyed the historical aspects and it seemed as though the characters behaved in ways consistent with the era being written about. This is easy-going reading with a very mild mystery. Enjoyable but not intellectually taxing, but somtimes that is just what is needed.
Excellent plot 29 Jun. 2013
By Tracy Stackhouse - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
As always Hilda t'inks and comes to the right conclusions. But could some one please hire a proofreader? Chapter 33, third sentence, "Sam Black had spend the night . . ." -- he either "had to spend" or "had spent" -- and that was just the quickest one I could find. Mostly the omission of a short word, they are like speed bumps to me.
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