Indigo Christmas: A Hilda Johansson Mystery

Written by Jeanne Dams
Review by Tess Allegra

South Bend, Indiana, in 1904 is a growing city with large social divides when Hilda Johansson, Swedish immigrant and former maid at the prestigious Studebaker Mansion, marries successful Irish merchant Michael Cavanaugh. She is not content being a “lady of leisure,” and when society ladies decide to form a Boys’ Club to give social miscreants a productive outlet, they welcome Hilda’s help (and her knowledge of the “lower classes”). Trouble arrives when her heavily pregnant friend, Norah, makes a surprise visit in tears because the police have arrested her husband, Sean, for possible murder with shallow evidence. Hilda’s penchant for crime-solving combined with help from new Boys’ Club lads give her life purpose again.

Indigo Christmas is a historical snapshot of an early America where immigrants may clash in culture, religion, and food, but the immigrant drive to overcome adversity shines in Hilda’s abilities to keep the peace in her new family as well as to solve injustice. Indigo Christmas stands on its own as a story with never a dull moment. Eagerly recommended.