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Frances Crane Books In Order

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Publication Order of Pat and Jean Abbott Mystery Books

The Turquoise Shop (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Box (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Yellow Violet (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Applegreen Cat (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pink Umbrella / The Pink Umbrella Murder (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amethyst Spectacles (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Indigo Necklace / The Indigo Necklace Murders (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cinnamon Murder (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shocking Pink Hat (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on the Purple Water (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Cypress (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Flying Red Horse (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Daffodil Blonde (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Blue Street / Death in the Blue Hour (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Polkadot Murder (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
13 White Tulips (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Bright Red (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Coral Princess Murders (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Lilac Time (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Horror on the Ruby X (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ultra-Violet Widow (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Buttercup Case (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man in Gray / The Grey Stranger (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death-Wish Green (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amber Eyes (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Body Beneath a Mandarin Tree (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Reluctant Sleuth (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Three Days in Hong Kong (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Very Quiet Murder (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Worse Than a Crime (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon

Frances Crane was a cozy mystery fiction author that was best known for the “Pat Abbott” mystery series of novels.

The author was born in Lawrenceville, Illinois in 1890. Her father was a manufacturer and capitalist from Chicago who built a huge business empire making ceramic and metal products.

Given her father’s fortune, Frances grew up with a privileged life in the upper echelons of Chicago’s elite. She was also from a well-educated and wealthy family and many in her immediate and extended family and particularly the males were doctors.
Going against the grain for the time, Nancy who was her aunt got her master’s degree which hardly any woman could have boasted of. Given her family, Frances herself grew up with a lot of determination to make something of herself.

Ultimately she went to the University of Illinois where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree and was a Phi Beta Kappa. She would later attend the University of Chicago for her graduate studies.

She would finally become known for her unorthodox religious beliefs and political radicalism, which made her the family’s black sheep and embarrassed her father.

Ultimately, Frances Crane got married to Ned Crane, a wealthy advertising executive, and throughout their marriage, she regularly published articles in “The New Yorker.” While writing for “The New Yorker,” she would become known for her sophisticated and dry sense of humor.
During the 1930s, she spent a lot of time in Germany but her outspokenness and liberal opinions put her at loggerheads with the rising Nazis. She remembers being reprimanded when she thumbed her nose at a speech that Hitler was making.

She was ultimately expelled from the country for crimes against the state since she had a Jewish housekeeper. However, the major reason for the expulsion was her furious articles criticizing the Nazi regime after the arrest of her housekeeper and her son for being Jewish.
Frances got divorced soon after leaving Germany and was faced with mounting bills as she had to take care of Nancy her daughter. It was then that she began formulating detective fiction since she realized that satirical fiction based on English culture was no longer very popular.

It was in 1941 that Frances Crane published her debut novel “The Turquoise Shop.” She was inspired to pen her novel when she heard about a real-life incident that happened in a jeweler’s shop. The novel would become very popular and she would make it into the Pat Abbott mystery series.

She would ultimately produce more than two dozen novels and several single-standing novels before she retired in 1968. She had initially announced her retirement in 1949 when her daughter was involved in a near-fatal accident.
Ultimately, she went back to writing and produced several more blockbusters. Between 1945 and 1947 she was contacted and her novels were made into the Abbott Mysteries, the radio series.

Between 1954 and 1955, the novels were also made into the Adventures of the Abbott the radio program that starred the husband and wife crime-fighting duo of Don Briggs and Claudia Morgan.

The author died in a nursing home in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she had been hospitalized for several months due to ill health. Her ashes were scattered all over her home in Lawrenceville.

“The Turquoise Shop” by Frances Crane is the debut novel of the “Pat and Jean Abbott Mystery” series. The work is set in Santa Maria, a fictional artists’ colony in New Mexico that has eerie similarities to Taos, the town where the author once lived.
The lead in the novel is Jean Holy who owns The Turquoise Shop which sells turquoise and silver jewelry in addition to small paintings.

On the other hand, is Patrick Abbott is a private detective known for his looks in San Francisco who is on an artistic holiday in the New Mexico town of Santa Maria.

He intends to adopt the painting hobby but the police do not believe it is a coincidence that he arrived in town just when counterfeit bills had been discovered and a heinous murder committed.

A few years earlier, Mona Brandon had swooped down upon the town of Santa Maria and had dominated everyone with her manner and her money. This included her very artistic husband who had gone missing a few months before Abbott came into town.
Could the man have headed to parts unknown after growing tired of his domineering wife or could he be the dead body that had been found murdered in the desert? The main suspect is a woman of Mexican descent named Carmenctia Dominguez.

Frances Crane’s novel “The Golden Box” is the story of Jean Holly.
She has just come back home to her Illinois hometown to visit her aunt that has been ailing for a while. It has been eight years since she has been to Elm Heights as she had been living in Santa Maria where she had joined an artistic community.

But then Peg her cousin informs her that Aunt Sue was down with pneumonia and she made the decision to head back home. Life is very much the same as it was when she left.

Mrs. Claribel Fabian Lake is still one of the most influential women in the circles that matter. She usually gets the last word on most things from who is appointed coroner to the planning of the yearly Christmas party.

She is a tyrant that is known for making their lives miserable and has recently refused to help Emma her eldest who refused to marry her mother’s choice. She had forced Claire her second oldest daughter to become engaged to a man she did not love and stomped on another’s romantic plans.

When Mrs. Lake dies from what is believed to be a heart attack, everyone believes her family will have a chance to finally live their lives…… until the will is read.

“The Yellow Violet” by Frances Crane is the story of Jean, who is in San Francisco to get married to her dream man in Pat Abbott, the detective.

The orchid corsage has been delivered and the trousseau is all ready. Jean is wearing her new dress suit since it is the war years and she cannot find a white wedding dress.

She had ready to head to the chapel with Pat when a case intervenes. Before Abbott can head to his romantic getaway with Jean his lovely bride, a woman named Molly Terrill arrives at his office seeking help to find her brother that has gone missing.
It turns out that the man had been in Italy where he had gotten mixed up with fascists. Pat’s eye is on his honeymoon and he asks Moly to work with a fellow detective so that he can head to the chapel to get married.

His client agrees but then the colleague she suggested turns up dead shot in his office. The only clue they have to go on is a single yellow-violet.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Frances Crane

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