Hilda Johansson Books

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The name Hilda Johansson refers to a series of historical mystery novels written by Jeanne M. Dams. The books follow the exploits of a young woman whose work in Indiana keeps introducing her to mysteries, murders, and crimes that she cannot help but investigate.

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Order of Hilda Johansson Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Death in Lacquer Red ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 1999 Description / Buy
2 Red, White, and Blue Murder ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2000 Description / Buy
3 Green Grow The Victims ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2001 Description / Buy
4 Silence Is Golden ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2002 Description / Buy
5 Crimson Snow ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2005 Description / Buy
6 Indigo Christmas ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2008 Description / Buy
7 Murder in Burnt Orange ( By: Jeanne M. Dams) 2011 Description / Buy
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Hilda Johansson is Swedish. It is the early 1900s and things are tough, so Hilda leaves her home and finds work in South Bend, Indiana with the wealthy Studebaker family. Working as a maid for a prominent family isn’t without its obstacles but Hilda faces the challenges without hesitation because she has a particular goal in mind.

The Swedish girl wants to make enough money to bring the rest of her family over. Even with the social, economic and religious conflicts that are rife in her community, Hilda knows that the United States will offer her and her family the best possible opportunities to succeed.

Her luck changes in Death in Lacquer Red, the first book in the series, when she comes across a murder victim. Hilda should have reported the matter, given her statement and left things at that.

But she couldn’t just sit back and watch, not when she knew that the prejudiced nature of her community at the time would drive them all to pin the murder on a Chinese immigrant.

So Hilda threw her amateur sleuthing hat on and decided to find the real killer if only to keep her fellow immigrant out of prison.

The success of her first murder case gives her a taste for investigative work and it isn’t long before the heroine is putting her keen mind to the task of solving other crimes in South Bend.

Hilda does not seek out trouble. More often than not, it finds her. Even then, the heroine has every opportunity to keep her nose clean. However, whenever a crime affects her new home and the people she knows; for instance, someone she knows dies or a body is found on the Studebaker premises, or maybe a friend is accused of a crime they did not commit; Hilda makes it her business to get to the bottom of things.

The Hilda Johansson novels have been praised for the effort they inject into fleshing out South Bend, Indiana in the early 1900s. This is on top of the author’s determination to infuse historical occurrences from that era into her plots.

On the other hand, some people have criticized Jeanne M. Dams for giving her heroine a little too much freedom. They argue that Hilda Johansson’s employers give her far more leeway to do as she pleases than any maid would have received in the early 1900s. It has been suggested that the author chooses to simply ignore the many restrictions a lower class immigrant like Hilda would have faced in trying to stick her nose where it didn’t belong.

Best Hilda Johansson Books

Jeanne M. Adams followed the Dorothy Martin series up with the Hilda Johansson series because she wanted to write stories that took place in her home state, thus making them easier to research, with some of the best books in the series including:

Murder in Burnt Orange: South Bend, Indiana is in chaos, not only because of the strikes and train wrecks but also the incessant heat wave. The United States president has been assassinated and for an immigrant like Hilda Johansson, things look rather bleak.

She must use her keen intelligence to analyze the suspicious events in her community and find the disturbing pattern hidden within.

Indigo Christmas: Hilda started out as just an immigrant from Sweden working as a maid for a wealthy family. But she has since carved out a new life for herself, one that includes a family of her own. However, conflict is brewing between her family and that of her husband. She’s also struggling to find her place in the world now that she no longer works as a maid.

When a friend’s husband is accused of crimes he did not commit, Hilda finds sleuthing a welcome distraction.

Other Book Series You May Like

The “Daisy Dalrymple” Series by Carola Dunn is another great read. Daisy Dalrymple is a fledgling journalist in 1920s Britain whose attempts to report on her assignments continuously drag her into mysteries and murders.

Be sure to check out the “Molly Murphy” Series by Rhys Bowen as well. Molly Murphy flees the turmoil of Ireland in the hopes of finding peace on the shores of America. However, peace is the last thing she finds, especially when she begins working as a detective in New York in the early 20th century.

What Is The Next Book in The Hilda Johansson Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Hilda Johansson Series. The newest book is Murder in Burnt Orange and was released on August, 1st 2011.


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