Like everyone else in Terre Haute, IN, Hilda Johansson, parlormaid to the wealthy Studebaker family, is shocked by the murder of President McKinley. What makes it even more horrifying is that the shooter had visited Terre Haute only a few months earlier, and some of Hildas fellow servants actually support the anarchists.

When a wealthy contractor is found murdered on a job site, wrapped in the American flag, the town is sure the local killings are somehow connected with the anarchists and the presidential shooting.

Hilda is terrifiedshe knows that suspicion is going to fall on friends of hers. With a great deal of anti-labor and anti-anarchist sentiment in the air, Hilda knows that if justice is to be served, she will have to help uncover the truth.

Played out against the turmoil of the McKinley assassination, THE RED,WHITE, AND BLUE MURDERS is both a clever mystery and an insightful look at the Upstairs, Downstairs world in turn-of-the-century America. (Jun., 204 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg