I was excited to find <b>Phyllis A. Whitney's</b> first adult novel! It encouraged me that she managed one-hundred novels and only started when she was my age of forty! Non-stop suspense propels a setting that has not been done like this but which is common, familiar territory. Anyone can picture where Linell is and this business Chicago location is so different. I love versatility and these are not the exotic gothic locations that would draw me years later, nor is this style. "<b>The Red Carnelian</b>", switched from <i>"Red Is For Murder"</i>, is a police case.
The key players sweat and work everything out themselves. There is believable fear that is successfully unsettling in a benign, normally sterile place. I wanted to award four stars to its creativity and realistically bizarre clash of personalities. One background aspect of the end tumbled congruity for me. Even in 1943, I don't see a Father prohibiting an estranged Mother from telling a grown daughter who she is; especially when calling the one who Mothered her by a given name. It indicates she was not blotting out the biological Mother; a fly in the ointment that had me puckering a face in disagreement. However the balance is well-constructed novel, abounding with clues we go back over.
It furnishes a fantastic time capsule. There are hardly any giant department stores anymore and a lot of tasks became outsourced. The whole works wouldn't be run independently like this: with a sign-writer, set-painter, models, etc on their own floors. I enjoyed reading this, from the seat of someone who would delight in telling the authoress that this would not only break her into the adult market but that her titles in both demographics would win awards. Most incredible to tell her: she would go on publishing until 1997!