Englischsprachige Literatur

Day Dianne

Emperor Nortonīs Ghost

Bantam/Random House, New York 1999


This is the fourth of Dayīs Fremont Jones Mysteries, and sad to say, it does not at all live up to my expectations after reading Fremont Jonesīs first adventure.

She is settled now, living in seperate flats in the same house with her - no surprise here - lover Michael Archer Kossoff. They have started their own private detective agency J&K and are trying to find clients.

Fremont takes part in a seance with her beautiful friend Frances McFadden and whereas Fremont, naturally, thinks it is all humbug, Frances is enthralled and wants to see Cora, the female medium, again, although her violent and possessive husband has abused her for going out on her own. What a contrast to Fremontīs own independent existence! So the budding detective accompanies her poor friend to the mediumīs flat only to find out, that the mysterious lady has been stabbed to death.

And Fremont has her first case, as  Coraīs partner and lover engages her to find the murderer. In the course of her investigations another medium is killed, but in the end Fremont can confront the murderer and hand him over to the police.

What really interests Dianne Day  is San Francisco a year after the earthquake of 1905 and so she describes all too detailed, what has become of all the relevant areas of her beloved city. A nice touch, but rather boring for the not likewise inclined reader. And in addition, the insights into the then metaphysical world are rather boring, too, especially the ghost of Emperor Norton, a dubious celebrity at the time. Unfortunately, this mystery came in a package of three, so there is more tedious work to do.