It is the 1970’s and perhaps there has never been an era where the generation gap has been so pronounced or more obvious. It may have been in the 60’s when Jack Weinberg declared “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” but it was the decade that followed that took this to heart. The conflict in the generation gap perhaps shows itself most strongly when two people in different generations are forced to work together – such as in a police force.
In Carolyn Weston’s murder mystery, Poor Poor Ophelia, homicide detective Al Krug is newly partnered with Detective Casey Kellog – a college-educated former surfer. Kellog is the youngest detective on the Santa Monica police force. To say that Krug and Kellog go about their work in vastly different ways is an understatement.
The pair are called upon to solve a gruesome murder – a woman is found floating in the nearby bay. Around her neck is a plastic bag containing a law firm member’s business card. Soling this should be straightforward, but Krug and Kellog have to first learn how to work with each other.
This book was the basis for the 1970’s television show, The Streets of San Francisco. The location, of course, was changed, as was the name of the two detectives, but the concept of an older detective working with a hippie-era detective remained.
The book suffers a bit from being very much of its time period. The challenge of two people of different generations working together is likely timeless, but this particular story really does feel more like historical fiction or someone today setting a story in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s as a period piece.
Yet … I enjoyed it.
Perhaps it’s because I enjoyed watching the television show with Karl Malden and Michael Douglas. Perhaps it’s because I’ve come to enjoy detective/mystery fiction. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in this time period so it brings back memories for me. And perhaps it’s a little bit of all of these.
The story isn’t the mystery, of course. The story is ‘how do two people so different learn to work together?’ Author Carolyn Weston handles this well, which makes the mystery (oh yeah … there’s a murder to solve here, too!) more interesting.
I wouldn’t rush out to make sure I got a copy of this book, but I enjoyed it and would definitely be interested in reading the others in the series. I’m also interested in watching The Streets of San Francisco again – especially the first episode which sounds very much like this story.
Looking for a good book? Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston was the basis for the television series The Streets of San Francisco and and is a murder mystery in which two detectives from very different generations must learn to work together in order to solve the crime.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Poor Poor Ophelia
author: Carolyn Weston
series: Krug & Kellog #1
publisher: Brash Books
paperback, 212 pages