Monday, September 30, 2013

The Yellow Violet: Review

This kind of case is tricky from the very first and sometimes it keeps getting more and more so right up to the minute you solve it. ~Pat Abbott

The Yellow Violet is the third novel in the Pat and Jean Abbott (though still Jean Holly here) mystery series by Frances Crane.  Jean has come to San Francisco in order to marry the man of her dreams, detective Pat Abbott.  The trousseau is all ready and the orchid corsage has been delivered. Jean has changed into her wedding apparel (a new dress suit--no white wedding dress in the war years for her) and is ready to head to the chapel with her handsome hubby-to-be when a case intervenes.

Before Pat can make his romantic get-away with the lovely Jean, Molly Terrill comes to his office looking for his help to locate her missing brother who managed to get himself mixed up with the Fascists when they were in Italy.  With an eye towards his honeymoon, Pat suggests that Molly consult a fellow detective so he and Jean can get married. Molly agrees.  Swell.  Except, then Charley Dickens (the fellow detective) is found shot in his office...with a single yellow violet as the only clue. Toni Ravel, a beautiful Spanish entertainer, is on tour in the Western United States.  Toni's trademark just happens to be the yellow violet corsages that she always wears.  There are Fascist spy rings, suspicious Asian bellboys, and a man in a brown hat who follows Jean wherever she goes.  There's a dachshund named Pancho and the ubiquitous taxi driver Angelino Angelo.  It will all end with a struggle over the tea set...and the teapot will come in handy when Jean needs to lend Pat a hand in subduing the bad guys.

Very fun war-time mystery, although not quite as humorous as the Pam & Jerry North series.  Jean is very determined to help Pat--but she tends to misjudge each and every person she encounters.  She doesn't trust Toni Ravel's boyfriend/manager because his name sounds German.  She doesn't trust the bellboy because...well, he's always there.  She doesn't trust Molly's housekeeper/mother-figure because because of the way she talks about Molly's brother.  But, for all her misplaced (and sometimes well-placed, but for the wrong reasons) distrust, Jean is there for Pat when it counts and helps him collar the villains in the end.  Three and 3/4 stars (rounded to four on Goodreads).

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Sounds like a fun read, and I love the cover.