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5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical
After living in America for three years, Swedish immigrant Hilda Johansson works as a housemaid in the Studebaker mansion in South Bend, Indiana. Hilda saves all her money in order to help the rest of her family come to America even as she struggles with prejudice against foreigners.

Her world changes when she stumbles across the murdered body of a woman,...
Published on 17 Mar. 1999

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting period piece but a failure as a mystery
After thoroughly enjoying Ms Dams books and finding her character Dorothy Martin a vibrant and delightful character I was very disappointed in her new series. Her writing of the period and the life of an immigrant servant I am sure are well researched and accurate. The mystery was contrived and secondary to the story. Hilda Johansson at nineteen, although portrayed...
Published on 10 Aug. 1999


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting period piece but a failure as a mystery, 10 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
After thoroughly enjoying Ms Dams books and finding her character Dorothy Martin a vibrant and delightful character I was very disappointed in her new series. Her writing of the period and the life of an immigrant servant I am sure are well researched and accurate. The mystery was contrived and secondary to the story. Hilda Johansson at nineteen, although portrayed as an extremely intelligent young lady, was too brash and manipulating to come across as a character that I would be interested following on further adventures. If some of the characters had been developed further instead of being used just as Hilda's pawns I feel that the book would have had more life and Hilda would have been better portrayed. The most interesting part of the book was Ms Dams portrayel of the servant class at the turn of the century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Farfetched and disappointing, 3 May 1999
By A Customer
I loved Jeanne Dams' Dorothy Martin series and looked forward to reading about her new heroine Hilda Johansson. Unfortunately, I found Hilda an unsympathetic and unbelievable protagonist. The plot has Hilda, a Swedish servant in a well-to-do household, investigating the death of a relative of the prominent family next door. Hilda, with sixteen years of a Swedish upbringing and only three years in America (which according to my calculations makes her all of nineteen) is found entering into such wildly diverse activities as rescuing another immigrant wrongly accused of the murder, planting stories in the press, and of course outwitting the police, all while cleaning house. The book is well-researched in terms of the lives of the servant class in the year 1900 but I think Ms. Dams seems more in control of her material when writing about the middle years of her widowed and remarried expatriate Dorothy Martin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical, 17 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
After living in America for three years, Swedish immigrant Hilda Johansson works as a housemaid in the Studebaker mansion in South Bend, Indiana. Hilda saves all her money in order to help the rest of her family come to America even as she struggles with prejudice against foreigners.

Her world changes when she stumbles across the murdered body of a woman, who turns out to be from an eminent family. Hilda fears that the police will concentrate on the immigrant population as the suspects while ignoring the prominent families who employ them. She begins sleuthing until she places her own life in danger from a murderer who will kill again if necessary.

The debut appearance of amateur sleuth Hilda Johansson is a smashing success. Jeanne M. Dams' uncanny ability provides readers with insight as to what it felt like being a foreigner in 1900 America. The who-done-it is intriguing, especially the behavior of the interested groups like the immigrants, the elite, and the police. Award winning Ms. Dams, the author of the Dorothy Martin series, has scribed a phenomenal historical mystery that warrants follow-up tales.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dams' new heroine is a charmer!, 14 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Hilda Johansson, a young servant in 1900 South Bend, is gutsy, clever and determined to solve a murder so that an innocent person doesn't get blamed. Dams makes her and the Indiana city come alive with meticulous research involving Notre Dame, Swedish Lutherans and even Decoration Day parades. Hilda lets nothing stand in her way, not even her well-meaning sisters and her "young man", Patrick. With her fellow servant, Norah, at her side, Hilda gets to the bottom of the crimes with a few surprises along the way. I enjoy Dorothy Martin, Jeanne Dams' other series character, but I like Hilda even more. I could see her coronet braids and hear her Swedish accent - that's what good writing is all about.
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Death in Lacquer Red (Hilda Johansson Mysteries)
Death in Lacquer Red (Hilda Johansson Mysteries) by Jeanne M. Dams (Paperback - April 2001)
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