Created by Dianne Day
(pseudonyms include Diane Bane and Madelyn Sanders)
The coyly-named CAROLINE FREMONT JONES is the young, spunky owner of a San Francisco typewriting service, who later becomes partners in a detective agency, in these historical romance/mysteries set in the late 1800/early 1900's.
In her first book, The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (1995), she meets a young attorney who helps her "rethink her vow of celibacy," as it's put in Detecting Women, and her later adventures have her involved in a passionate (but hush-hush) relationship with Michael Kossoff, a Russian nobleman and spy for the czar. In fact, Michael's enemies (and he has plenty) help keep the books going. Whenever the plot lags, someone can always be counted on to show up to try to bump him off. Evidently, author Day has taken Chandler's advice to heart, about having a man enter the room with a gun when things start to slow down.
These aren't anywhere close to hardboiled, and in fact, they're rather light on mystery, too. But they make up for it with a lot of romantic intrigue, a heavy dose of Perils of Pauline-type melodrama (with the prerequisite cliffhangers) and some intriguing (and even gruesome) period detail. As Harriet the K. would say, this is the perfect type of thing for people who like this kind of thing, of which this is a good example of.
A tireless self-promoter, often seen on DorothyL and other e-mail lists, Day comes about her historical romances quite honestly. As well being the author of a slew of romantic suspense novels, under such monickers as Diane Bane and Madelyn Sanders, she's also worked at a historical museum in California.