Englischsprachige Literatur

Day Dianne

The Strange Files of Fremont Jones

Bantham Books, New York  1996


Dianne Day and Laurie King are kindred spirits. Both admire Sherlock Holmes and follow in Doyle´s steps.

Here Fremont Jones, a young lady from Boston in 1905, sets up her own business in San Francisco, far away from her protective family. She invests in a writing machine, the latest invention at the time and starts as a “type-writer”. Thus Day has invented a character and setting, uniquely fitted for coming across mysteries that need to be solved. Jones´ clients include Justin Cameron, a young lawyer, who, like Fremont, has just started his own firm, and they fall in love, although Fremont takes great pains in declaring, that she is an independent woman and doesn´t plan to marry. The weird writer Edgar Allan Partridge hands her his ghastly true stories to type. Then a Chinese client wants her to write down a kind of contract. Soon afterwards he is killed, and here we are.

Fremont equips herself with a blade hidden in a walking-stick and practises fighting off imaginary attackers before she ventures into the world of mystery and crime, and finds out that her lover has a darker side. Also very convenient for a mystery series, she has rented a flat on the third floor of a three-storey-house. On the second floor lives a very mysterious, good-looking gentleman some ten years her senior, Michael Archer, who pretends to be retired, but pops up, whenever needed and seems to know a lot more than he is ready to admit. So Fremont and her friendly landlady suspect him to be a spy.

Fremont tells her adventures in the first person, slowly and gently, the reader often knows more than she does, and sometimes really wants to warn this courageous but rather naive young amateur sleuth, but of course, in the end she solves the mystery. I certainly have to read Fremont Jones´s next adventures!