Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fire and Fog

This second installment in the Fremont Jones mystery continues the events of Fremont Jones' life shortly after the first book ended.  Fremont is an independent-minded woman, in many ways ahead of her time, who has moved from the security of her father's home in Boston and is living on her own in San Francisco in the early 1900s.  She has set herself up in her own business, having attended a woman's college, and is working as a typist.

When the big earthquake hits, followed by a devastating fire, Fremont must leave her cozy apartment.  Her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Michael Archer, teaches Fremont to drive, and she ends up working as an ambulance driver, helping out with the many injured people who are now homeless in the wake of the disaster.  But she is also caught up in a series of strange events - dead animals are left at her doorstep of her temporary home, and murders follow.  Once again Fremont is caught up in the tangled web of a complex case, and when Michael disappears, Fremont is left on her own, determined to solve it.

I enjoyed this one, perhaps even more than the first.  The setting, with its many sensory details of the quake and the ensuing fire, really brought this story to life, and the mystery itself was deliciously complicated, with many strands and connections that were fun to try to unravel.  Fremont is gaining confidence as a woman trying to make her way on her own, and she learns some important things in this book.  I look forward to seeing how she fares in the next installment of this entertaining historical mystery series.

Books in the Fremont Jones series:
1. The Strange Files of Fremont Jones
2. Fire and Fog
3. The Bohemian Murders
4. Emperor Norton's Ghost
5. Death Train to Boston
6. Beacon Street Morning   

Fire and Fog (#2 in the Fremont Jones mystery series) by Dianne Day (Doubleday, 1996)

Also reviewed at:
A Few More Pages:  "Sometimes her independent nature makes her a bit too stubborn, and keeps her from seeing the big picture (this sometimes frustrates me about this character). But other than that, I truly enjoyed the book."
The Literate Kitten:  "I'm not a genre reader, but this one gives a good feel for what it must have been like to have experienced the quake and fire. And a pretty decent story, decently written."


  1. I love Fremont Jones! This has been my favorite book of the series so far. I read the next book in the series (The Bohemian Murders) but was underwhelmed by it. It felt different from the first two books and Michael was confusing. I did get book 4 anyway, but I haven't read it yet.

  2. This sounds like it could be a good series. I would say I haven't heard of it before, but it is always possible I commented on your review of the first book and forgot... I will have to check it out!

  3. Katy - I enjoyed this one a lot. I recommended the series to a mystery lover at work, and she has since read the entire thing, and she says she prefers the earlier books. So I guess I'll have realistic expectations as I move on through the rest of the series.

    Kailana - There are way too many books to keep track of, aren't there?! This is a fun historical mystery series that hits the spot when I'm in that kind of mood.

  4. oh my God, you are reading Miss. Pelligrene's to your kids?! It looks so scary! Is it?

    Not sure if this would be my kind of book, any romance?

  5. Ack! This is the second time this week that I've written a long comment and had it vanish when I hit "preview." Argh!

    My original comment was probably much better than this second try will be. I don't think Miss Peregrine would be your cup of tea, VA Gal. There is some romance, but it's more a straight-up horror story. Not too scary for my kids (yet, at any rate!) - they recently watched Alien and loved it. I didn't remember the strong language from the first time I read it, though. It was a little strange to be reading something out loud to my kids that had cussing worse than "damn" in it. It's narrated by a teenage boy, so it rings true, but still!


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