Oak Tree Press, July 2002, 9.95, 280 pp.
In 1965 Santa Cruz, California during the worst storm of the season, Trish Malcolm, a less than three-week management hire by Ma Bell, is forced to work the switchboard, devices she knows nothing about. Inadvertently, she accidentally overhears a part of a pay phone conversation placed by someone named Jay Jay. The next night a telephone operator is run down in the parking lot and Trish believes it was no accident but a killer gunning for her.
She locates the street where the phone call was placed and sees only one building in the vicinity. There's a sign in the window saying there's a room for rent and Trish decides to take it thinking she can find the killer. During the course of her investigation, somebody shoots at her, kills a tenant living in the building and set fire to the place. Only when she comes out in the open and enlists the help of her co-workers does she have a chance of exposing the killer.
Sheree Petree has written a very clever amateur sleuth novel that captures the ambiance of the 1960's America. The heroine is an admirable and determined young woman who acts according to her own convictions, not caring if everyone thinks she's a fool though taking matters in her own hand as opposed the police seems today as foolish, but remember the time and generation involved. The mystery is so well constructed that readers won't guess who the killer is until the author chooses to reveal him.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner