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The Strange Files of Fremont Jones: A Fremont Jones Mystery (Fremont Jones Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romantic suspense writer Day (The Stone House) turns to mystery with laudable results. The year is 1905. Fleeing the confines of her staid Boston upbringing and a potential marriage to a loathsome suitor, the modern-thinking Caroline Fremont Jones opens a typewriting business in San Francisco using the name Fremont. Her business brings her in contact with the normally mild young attorney Justin Cameron, who reacts with hostility when Fremont takes dictation from "ancient gentleman" Li Wong. A week later, Li Wong is dead, and Fremont's office is ransacked. Another client, Edgar Allan Partridge, brings three manuscript stories to Freemont for typing but never returns to pick them up. His brooding tales are full of evil and very like those of his namesake. Fremont's investigations into the mysteries of her dead and missing clients lead her to suspect her rooming-house neighbor, whom she believes is a spy. While the plot plays out credibly, Day shines brightest at horror writing: the excerpts from Partridge's stories are truly frightening, their gothic element adding powerful punch to Fremont's first case.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Mix together a foggy San Francisco of 1905, a female Sherlock Holmes, Chinese tongs, a hint of Norman Bates, and Caroline Fremont Jones, late of Boston, and you have this enchanting book. Fremont leaves Boston to escape from an arranged marriage, sets herself up in a "type-writing" (i.e., secretarial) business, and becomes independent. Her first client, Justin Cameron, is a young lawyer who becomes her beau. Another client is the strange and very weird Edgar Partridge. Her landlady, Mrs. O'Leary, and another roomer, Michael Archer, complete the cast. Day, author of several pseudonymous romance novels, has beautifully captured the rhythm and speech of a Victorian novel. She leads Fremont on an extraordinary adventure and the reader on a delightful read. The characters are all a bit mysterious, which adds to the pleasure. Recommended for popular collections.?Barbara Maslekoff, Ohioana Lib., Columbus
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fremont Jones Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055356921X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553569216
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on May 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a devoted mystery and series readers who chanced upon this book while browsing. Now after sometime and having read more books in the series, I am so happy to be acquainted with the author Dianne Day.
Set in San Francisco in the early 20th century, the author has written about a feisty woman character, Fremont Jones, who not only thinks differently than her contemporaries but abandons her Brahmin Boston home to seek her own life halfway across the country. Starting out as a typist, Fremont Jones quickly becomes involved in a mystery when she is approached by a Chinese man who is found and his files mysteriously stolen from Jones' office. Fremont who takes her name from her pioneering relative John Fremeont is a woman living in the early 20th century with a 21st century feminist attitude. The mystery which hold one's attention is nothing compared to the relationships which Day creates and will have readers eagerly waiting to pick up the second book in the series.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Strange Files... is a great concept. It is a fun-to-read blend of historical atmosphere, mystery and romance. Living in San Francisco myself, I love to read about what the city used to be like. The authenticity of the streets, locations, weather etc. makes it all the more enjoyable. I'm hooked on this new heroine.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very strong debut of a new female protagonist, a woman struggling against the boundaries placed on women in her time (turn-of-the-century America). A step away from disaster at any moment, Fremont Jones sets off to redefine herself and to face life on her own terms. Fortunately for us, her own terms includes a strong dollop of adventure, romance, and gritty details of life for a woman alone in those times. This book is a rather quick read, but a very satisfying one. Its sequel, Fire and Fog, is even more satisfying as we see the character mature and settle in to the rhythms of life in San Francisco only for them to be thoroughly disrupted by the Great Quake. This is truly a writer to watch!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on October 21, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Caroline Fremont Jones is a college educated Bostonian in the early years of the 20th century. Her father has recently married a woman that she dislikes. That woman has her nephew in mind for Caroline's husband. She has vowed never to marry, so when her father and Augusta are on their honeymoon, she leaves for San Fransisco. She changes her name to C. Fremont Jones and starts a typing business. Things are going well, she has a new friend, a young lawyer named Justin Cameron, an excellent landlady, Mrs O'Leary, and a mysterious neighbor, Michael Archer.
Strange things begin to happen. A mysterious stranger with a resemblence to Edgar Allan Poe, drops off a manuscript to be typed. He seems to be afraid of something or someone. His tales are very strange. Then, a leader of the Chinese community, Li Wong, asks her to type a letter for him. Shortly afterward he is murdered, and his family needs the information in the letter, which has disappeared. Justin is becoming an infatuation, which Fremont doesn't want given her vow, and Michael Archer seems to be following her. Something is very wrong and she is determined to get to the bottom of it all.
This is a very good series. The time period and the characters are all very vivid. You almost feel that you are in the San Francisco of that time. The plot and mystery have many twists and turns and the ending is satisfactory. The next book should be even better!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 28, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I selecteed this book by virture of recommends by Amazon, in the section if you liked this book, you will like..I read Carolyn Hart, Sharyn McCrumb, and light mysteries. Dianne Day wove an interesting plot, and introduced me to an unusual young woman sleuth, livng in 1905 San Francisco. I look forward to other romps with Freemont Jones.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Rice on March 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A very fun book, very enjoyable: a character you can sympathize with, some good local color, some nice plot turns. The author's background in romantic literature helps her make Fremont Jones more believable as a person. There's an even heavier dollop of gothic horror.
Highly recommended if you want a fun read, like San Francisco and-or enjoy period mysteries with spunky female detectives (I do).
The book does have flaws. It's well written but not a classic. Some of the plot turns seem a bit abruptly convenient and quite a bit of the action builds character but doesn't do much for the plot. But it's fun enough to push it above average and make it worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert www.fogcityfog.com on December 16, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The events in the book reflect historical accuracy, but the characters are definitely not stereotypical of the time. The main character, Fremont Jones, is a feminist who defies the traditional roles that the era cast women in, and instead leaves home, starts a typewriting business, and refuses to marry. Along the way, she becomes a private detective, falls in love, and gets in one scrape after another. Her best friend is a rebellious young Chinese woman who defies her family's command to marry, and instead runs away to attend Stanford University and then to practice the ancient Chinese art of Mysticism, passed on to her by her grandmother.

Fremont's love interest may or may not be a Russian spy, but he stirs feelings in Fremont that proper young women in the early 1900's should not be feeling, let alone acting on. The landscape of California, and particularly San Francisco, is a character unto itself, and the author does a brilliant job of conveying the excitement, the danger, and the beauty in the City by the Bay.
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