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Indigo Christmas: A Hilda Johansson Mystery    by by Jeanne M. Dams order for
Indigo Christmas
by by Jeanne M. Dams
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2008 (2008)
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1904 in South Bend, Indiana. Swedish immigrant Hilda Johansson works as a maid until she meets and marries Patrick Cavanaugh, when she becomes a society lady. She finds this a chore she hadn't counted on. But Hilda is nothing if not filled with fortitude.

When Patrick's cousin is accused of murder as well as theft and arson, Hilda plows ahead to clear his name - for the sake of justice and also because the man's wife is her best friend. This reader was delighted to learn of the social mores of the times, the condition of the economy, the clothes worn then, and the bias against immigrants, as well as some of the foods ingested.

The plot works well and gives Hilda a chance to get involved with a charitable party for the young boys of South Bend in an attempt to start a boys' club. Interesting, but a little over the top as far as the women of the town are involved. Seems to me that Hilda is accepted just a little too fast for the snobbish ways of women in a small town.

But, that is neither here nor there. Hilda is a strong character, loved to distraction by her husband who realizes he can't tame her and doesn't try. Hilda's friend's mother proves to be a character worthy of mention, but one who does little to further the cause of the Irish. Overall, Indigo Christmas is a cozy that is quickly read and enjoyed.

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