Death at Pullman

Written by Frances McNamara
Review by Jane Kessler

In this third mystery in the series, set in Chicago in 1894, we find Emily Cabot working at Hull House for Jane Addams and planning to resume her graduate studies in sociology at the University of Chicago in the fall. When she accompanies Ms. Addams to Pullman to investigate a disagreement between the Pullman Palace Car Company and its workers, a young man is found murdered. Emily is later dispatched by Ms. Addams to distribute food supplies to the striking workers and their families. She is accompanied by Dr. Stephen Chapman, whose marriage proposal she has previously turned down.

While this is a mystery, the mystery doesn’t really take center stage in the story, and it isn’t so much solved as it unfolds. This did not, however, detract one bit from my enjoyment of the story. The history of the Pullman Palace Car Company, the strike and the Pullman town was a fascinating story in its own right. The novel really has two villains, the murderer and George Pullman, who built an ideal town for his workers and then by his avarice, kept them too poor to enjoy it. An excellent installment in this series.