Perseverance Press 


“Based on a real, unsolved case from 1904, the novel seamlessly integrates historical details with a suspenseful plot.” —Publishers Weekly (6/27/05)

“Dams brings the period alive as the captivating Hilda solves a murder and her own problems too.” —Kirkus Reviews (6/1/05)

Hilda Johansson, a Swedish immigrant in turn-of-the-century South Bend, Indiana, has her hands full, with an engagement her family opposes and solving a violent murder for which she has no clues.

In January of 1904, South Bend is shocked by the murder of a popular schoolteacher. Hard-working Hilda Johansson, housemaid to the powerful and prominent Studebaker family, is as horrified as everyone else, especially since her young brother Erik was in Miss Jacobs’s class. But Hilda has problems of her own, including a pending marriage both families disapprove, and refuses to get involved in the investigation until Erik forces her hand. Crimson Snow is based on a real 1904 Indiana murder case that remains unsolved to this day.

Mystery and history buffs alike will welcome this new entry from Jeanne M. Dams. She effortlessly weaves disparate threads through her plots, including social conditions like child labor, literacy, poverty, religious strife, child abuse and abandonment, disease, prostitution, and class differences. In Crimson Snow Hilda uneasily finds herself in two worlds, in transition to a higher class through marriage, an upward mobility not possible in the Sweden or Ireland of her and her fiancé’s origins. Readers also get fascinating glimpses of the history of the automobile (Studebakers were on the roads for the next half century), the Pinkerton investigators (whom Hilda outdoes), and some Baker Street Irregular-types (Erik and his pals). Yet Dams’s touch is so light that readers don’t even know they’ve been educated.

Jeanne M. Dams’s life revolves around her love of the mystery, of England, and of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She is the Agatha-winning and Macavity-nominated author of the popular Dorothy Martin series, as well as four previous books in the Hilda Johansson historical series. She lives in South Bend, Indiana, where the Studebaker mansion, now a restaurant, still stands.

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Crimson Snow
A Hilda Johansson Mystery
by Jeanne M. Dams
ISBN 1-880284-89-0, paperback, $13.95

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