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The Shocking Pink Hat: 12/20/12

cover art

The Shocking Pink Hat by Frances Crane is the ninth of the Jean and Pat Abbott mysteries. It's set in San Francisco, on Jones Street and surrounding blocks. Not all books, though, in the series are set in the City. It's also, the only one I've read so far, but I plan to track down others in the series as time and resources permit.

Jean and Pat are currently living in San Francisco. They've been out to dinner. On the way home, a car comes rolling down the hill and crashing. Pat sees a man running away from the scene. Inside the car is the body of a man who has been given a lethal injection.

Jean, as a friend of one of the women under investigation does her best to investigate through her circle of friends while Pat handles the nuts and bolts aspects of it. They make a good pair of investigators, and I'd recommend the series to anyone who likes to read mysteries that star a couple (Tommy and Tuppence, Goldy and Tom, Nick and Nora, etc).

Although this particular mystery is set in San Francisco and is written by an American born author, oddities in the choice of language reveal that spent much of her early adult life in Europe. The oddest things I found was the misspelling of place names like the Fairmont hotel (Fairmount in the book) and Tijuana, Mexico as Tia Juana, Mexico. These are fairly well known locations that editors at Random House could have checked and fixed even in the days before the internet.

Copy editing goofiness aside, it's an interesting mystery very much in the same vein as Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear mysteries. Having read only descriptions of the other mysteries, I can only guess that Crane's series is a prototype of the present day cozy genre.

Three stars

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