Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,046 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Set in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, whose foggy, gaslit streets still echo with the sounds of horsedrawn carriages as well as the clang of cablecar bells, The Strange Files of Fremont Jones introduces a plucky, independent heroine who might well be the natural ancestor of those modern private eyes Kinsey Millhone and Kat Colorado. When proper Bostonian and Wellesley ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Crimeline (first published April 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) We all see art of any kind (cinema, paintings, literature) through the filter of our background, experiences and beliefs. So if the lens symbolises…moreWe all see art of any kind (cinema, paintings, literature) through the filter of our background, experiences and beliefs. So if the lens symbolises the mother to you, then it does. I can't say I see it that way; to me the lens is the source of a kind of vital power he was seeking to channel, a strength he didn't have in himself. But that's just my interpretation.(less)
The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
130th out of 1,308 books — 3,373 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithDéjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Fearless Females
91st out of 483 books — 689 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,121)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 28, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, the-americas
The cover and references to Poe and Lovecraft led me to expect a supernatural element which is not, as it turns, present. The base plot is the story of a young, well-off Bostonian woman who moves to San Francisco seeking independence and opens a typing agency. Due to the backgrounds of clients who come randomly to her business she is presented with opportunities to involve herself is goings-on that don't concern her.

This is a first-person narration and how much you like it may depend in part on
Jan 08, 2012 Goose rated it liked it
The author bio of Dianne Day states "is the author of nine novels of romantic suspense..." and at times it shows. More than one scene contained the "purple prose & heaving bosoms" one might expect to find in a romance novel. There is plenty in this novel to still warrent a read, if you are a fan of historical mystery. There were interesting historical details throughout and some education on treatment of the Chinese people who were living in California at the beginning of the 1900s. This is ...more
Sabrina Flynn
Jul 31, 2012 Sabrina Flynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The Strange Files of Fremont Jones was an enjoyable, and sometimes hilarious read. A great mystery that didn't take itself too seriously, and honestly, I just can't resist a good story with a witty female protagonist and a tall distinguished older gentleman in it.
Nov 16, 2015 Ariel rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
I agree with the synopsis of Day's File of Fremont Jones here on GoodReads in that it compares Jones to Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. The characters certainly have a very similar vibe and I think fans of Grafton's Alphabet Series would enjoy Jones.

I do think I will end up reading through the series eventually but there were some pretty big disappointments in this opener. I really wanted more depth from Jones - as well as a bit more maturity/common sense. Both the main character and the majority of
Oct 22, 2013 Sally906 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
The Strange Files of Fremont Jones is set in San Francisco in 1905. Caroline Fremont Jones is a thoroughly modern miss whose father has no real idea how to control her or make her confirm to society’s expectations of how women should act. She has now finished her college education and is at a bit of a loss on what to do next. Her father married a woman that Caroline dislikes and her new stepmother believes that marriage is all that a woman requires and has just the nephew in mind for Caroline. W ...more
The first lesson any author should learn is what genre of book he/she is writing. Dianne Day didn't quiiiiite have that figured out. The Strange Files of Fremont Jones starts off as a coming-of-age story of a young woman in 1905 then morphs into a potential mystery before taking on supernatural elements of weird Poe-esque formatting until settling in for a single sex scene that could have come out of any trashy dime-store romance novel. Not cool and I'd like to hope, not her best effort!

Day, Dianne - 1st in series

Brave, resourceful, adventurous Fremont (nee Caroline) Jones is a woman ahead of her time. Hungry for independence, she's traded in her conventional life in Boston for a career as a "type-writer" in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. But Fremont soon discovers that her clients aren't always what they appear to be, and that in doing her job she's transcribing her way into a wealth of mystery—and mortal danger....

Dashing lawyer Ju
Oct 20, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Molly Murphy and the Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen Rhys Bowen as well as The Blackbird Sisters by Nancy Martin. Nancy Martin I was excited to start another female detective novel set in a specific historical time.

The Boston connection was perfect for me as a New Englander. There certainly were some twists to this story. The plot line intrigued my thirst for American history and introduced me to the world of the American Asian culture in California at the turn of the centu
Green Turquoise
Nov 19, 2011 Green Turquoise rated it it was amazing
Caroline Fremont Jones is an engaging character you can relate to and understand her motives well. She is making her way in the world against odds and convention. She uses both her brain and her heart, it's easy to feel respect her and root for her. I definitely want to read more about her.

The supporting characters are all well developed and you have a strong feeling they will show up throughout the series. There is a bit of romance along with the suspense. It's a fun read with a lot of researc
Mar 31, 2010 Juanita rated it it was amazing
Fremont Jones series is just good reading and meant to be very enjoyable as a character. She is the early independent thinking woman and she is resourceful and fun. She strikes out on her own and learns early the "school of hard knocks" but she is persistent and you will find yourself getting involved with her latest challenge and cheering her on and then sometimes it will touch you just for a moment when she is so alone and loses faith in herself. If you loved Nancy Drew (those of you who remem ...more
May 25, 2008 Joseph rated it liked it
I ended up reading this simply because it was on the shelf and I wanted something to read while staying at the in-laws' house. It's a mystery novel set in the early 1900's (I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of San Francisco in that era) about a young woman going against the grain by being out on her own, making a life, and not running away from trouble. I'm sure it's targeted more to women, but I ended up enjoying it anyway and even read some of the later books in the series as well. It's ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it really liked it
Set in San Francisco in the early 20th century, The Strange Files of Fremont Jones is about a modern woman who abandons her wealthy Boston home to seek her own life. She has vowed never to marry, so when her father and his new wife are on their honeymoon, she leaves for San Francisco and starts a typing business. Things are going well, and she becomes involved with her new friends: a young lawyer named Justin Cameron, her curious landlady, Mrs O'Leary, and a mysterious neighbor, Michael Archer. ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Two and a half stars is charitable for what is obviously a first novel. Day has some good ideas that could have borne more development than the "gothic" bit. The ending was rushed, going more for Twilight Zone last-scene effect a than satisfying finish. I got very tired indeed of the interpolations of Edgar/Peregrine's supposed stories, which led me to wonder if Ms Day had tried her hand at that particular genre without success.

I know wealthy girls were supposedly kept wrapped in cotton wool in
Wise Cat
Jan 03, 2015 Wise Cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes strong women & historical fiction
Recommended to Wise Cat by: Online friend
This was amazing! I actually read the sequel to this, Fire and Fog, a few months earlier. That was unintentional....I found Fire & Fog in the library's withdrawn pile, and it looked GOOD. And it WAS!!

I knew it was the second in a series, so I made it a point to finally read the first Fremont book! It did not disappoint. It was a real page turner, and I would have finished it sooner than I did. But I was also reading two other books to get through the holidays, and I purposely slowed down nea
Jun 17, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A Historical Mystery series set in San Francisco. Book blurb says " Brave, resourceful, adventurous Fremont (nee Caroline) Jones is a woman ahead of her time. Hungry for independence, she's traded in her conventional life in Boston for a career as a "type-writer" in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. But Fremont soon discovers that her clients aren't always what they appear to be, and that in doing her job she's transcribing her way into a wealth of Mystery- mortal danger"
She left because her fa
First in a historical mystery series set in San Francisco during the early 1900's. I liked the main character, though I doubt if she was historically appropriate, but the various plot elements were just OK and there was a bit too much romance.
Sep 21, 2014 Jan rated it really liked it
I went into my little used paper library the other day and flipping through titles I ran across The Strange Files of Fremont Jones by Dianne Day. I rarely, rarely read paper books anymore, but how could I not kick it old school when the story was about a young woman starting a typewriting service! Turns out Fremont Jones moves from Boston to San Francisco & she even gets a phone for her new business venture. I enjoyed the story of Fremont opening her business typing for others, and the myste ...more
Lourdes Venard
Aug 21, 2014 Lourdes Venard rated it really liked it
A strong series debut featuring Fremont Jones, a young, independent woman in 1905, who moves from Boston to San Francisco to avoid unwanted matchmaking. In San Francisco, she sets up her typing business, which immediately draws an eclectic clientale, among them the handsome lawyer Justin Cameron, a mysterious writer who calls himself Edgar Allan Partridge, and an important figure in Chinatown, Li Wong. But then Partridge never returns to pick up his strange manuscript and Li Wong is killed. Frem ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
So much fun, set at the perfect time and in one of my favorite places, San Fransisco. I love Fremont. What a woman!
Jan 25, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2014 Don rated it really liked it
This is the first in the series featuring the sleuth work of an early feminist, Fremont Jones. She is working independently, operating her typing business at the turn of the 19th century San Francisco. One of her clients is a reclusive writer who wants her to type his, allegedly true manuscript, written in the Edgar Allen Poe style. She must seek him out because he never returned for his typed copy. Another client, an elderly Chinese man, is murdered shortly after requiring Fremont's services. R ...more
Apr 27, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
This, the first in the Fremont Jones series, is a historical mystery set in San Francisco previous to the great earthquake of 1906.

Fremont Jones is an independent young woman from Boston, who, in order to escape her intrefering step-mother, establlishes her own typing business in far-away San Francisco.

When handsome lawyer Justin Cameron hires her, he causes her pulse to quicken and her head to whirl, creating a confusing mix of emotions.

Eccentric writer Edgar Allen Partridge hires her to type a
Jul 08, 2010 Minh rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
And strange they were indeed. Assuming from the title that the Fremont Jones series was a mystery series I plowed on to find an interesting independent woman of the early 1900's determined to make a living for herself and stumbling somewhat into various mysteries.

Leaving her family home in Boston, Fremont Jones (Formerly Caroline Jones) begins a typing service oh the west coast in San Francisco and almost immediately finds herself in too deep when presented with a manuscript from mysterious aut
Vannessa Anderson
Feb 02, 2010 Vannessa Anderson rated it it was amazing
Caroline Fremont Jones, aka Fremont Jones, is her own woman during the time women had only the rights bestowed her by her father or husband.

Fremont Jones leaves her father’s home with a college degree and a small amount of money left her by her mother in hand because she has a non-compatible relationship with her stepmother who disapproves of Fremont because she refuses to wear a corset and behave as women of the day are expected to behave.

Freemont moves to San Francisco and opens a letter typ
I liked this book and think the series has potential (we'll see after the second one). The atmosphere is well built, the characters are fine and the tension between the two main characters (Michael and Fremont) builds up nicely and logically (some contemporary thrillers just throw the main characters in a sexual frenzy right after they've met which is ok but can also get boring or lame after a while or after reading some such books). Of course, you know how these two will end up, but still it is ...more
Text Addict
Good historical setup, good characters, Fremont's lack of experience shows (she's 22 and sheltered, after all). I probably would've enjoyed it more if I hadn't been trying to figure out whether it was fantasy or not - I conclude that it probably isn't. Except maybe for the last line. Nonetheless, I will probably try to find the succeeding volumes at some point; good historical fiction is worth looking for!
Lisa Dorr-pozos
Aug 11, 2016 Lisa Dorr-pozos rated it it was amazing
Wonderful tale of an independent young lady in 1905 San Francisco, first of a series. Love the little tidbits of SF history and nostalgia in there and how well my city is described and revered by the heroine. The mystery plot is engaging (if far-fetched) and the characters ring true and believable. First of a series
Feb 22, 2016 Lara rated it liked it
I always say I love this series, but really it's only the second and third books in this series that I love, though the rest aren't bad. But I loaned this one to a friend once and she thought it was really terrible, so what do I know? Anyway, this one sets up the main characters and the setting, and it's a fairly enjoyable little historical fiction/mystery. It takes place in San Francisco in 1905, which I thought was really kind of interesting, and though sometimes the main character...let's say ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Sandie rated it liked it
This was a second time read. I first read it many years ago and more recently my book group chose it. It is fun for people who like to read about San Francisco. Caroline Fremont Jones is a young woman living in Boston at the turn of the last century. When her widowed father decides to marry a woman she doesn't care for, she takes off for San Francisco and opens up a typewriting service. And drops her first name. Of course she doesn't just sit and type, along the way adventures come her way inclu ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Donna rated it liked it
Fremont Jones is a young woman who was raised in a life of wealth and comfort, but she chooses to move to San Francisco and start her own business rather than marry as she's expected to. She sets up shop as a typist-for-hire, but some of her clients have secrets that aren't safe for Fremont to know.

I liked the character and the early 1900s setting, and I enjoyed the scenes Fremont shared with her neighbor. The writing style was a bit stiff for my taste, and I wasn't crazy about the way that the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 70 71 next »
  • Death In Lacquer Red (Hilda Johansson, #1)
  • Mark of the Lion (Jade del Cameron Mysteries, #1)
  • The Spice Box (The Spice Box, #1)
  • Murder on the Lusitania (George Porter Dillman & Genevieve Masefield, #1)
  • Consequences of Sin
  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • Murder on Nob Hill (Sarah Woolson Mystery, #1)
  • The War Against Miss Winter (Rosie Winter, #1)
  • Point of Honour (Sarah Tolerance, #1)
  • The Doublet Affair (Ursula Blanchard, #2)
  • Death at Bishop's Keep (Kathryn Ardleigh, #1)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • Ratcatcher (Matthew Hawkwood, #1)
  • A Most Dangerous Woman (Sarah Tanner, #1)
  • Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)
  • A Bitter Draught (Ravenwood Mysteries #2)
  • Sweet Revenge (A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, #1)
Dianne Day was born in Mississippi in 1938.
More about Dianne Day...

Other Books in the Series

Fremont Jones (6 books)
  • Fire and Fog (Fremont Jones, #2)
  • The Bohemian Murders (Fremont Jones, #3)
  • Emperor Norton's Ghost (Fremont Jones, #4)
  • Death Train to Boston (Fremont Jones, #5)
  • Beacon Street Mourning (Fremont Jones, #6)

Share This Book