|Distinctly of an Era Page 2
Pam and Jerry North owned a memorable series of cats during the 23 years they romped through mystery upon
mystery. Pictured above are Frances and Richard Lockridge, proving that their feline storylines were based on years
of in home research.
Photograph by Conrad Eiger
Photograph by Leja Gorska
The books were all set in upper-middle to upper income circumstances. None of the heroes are poor although Nathan Shapiro probably
has the least flashy lifestyle. Jerry North was a book publisher and therefore reasonably well off. Bill Weigand was a career police officer
but we are told he had money from other sources. As mentioned, Shapiro was of modest means, yet his wife Rose, a school employee,
nonetheless earned a Ph.D mid-series, and went on to greener financial pastures. Dorian Weigand was a artist. Susan Heimrich designed
and sold fabrics and owned a home overlooking the Hudson! Pam North was the only major female character who was a 100% stay at
The predominant location for the books is New York City and State, with occasional forays into Connecticut or New Jersey. A few books
have the crew in one exotic place or another, but there are still enough mentions of "back home", for the reader to keep a New York
state of mind. Being a southern boy my entire life, these books have given me a glimmer of another culture, a taste of a different time
and set of values, habits, routines. These books are at once, one series and several, and this allows for a multi layered effect that lends a
quite realistic feel to the whole. This is true even of those books that don't feature one of the continuing characters.
|My thanks to Sara Tucker who pointed out that Merton's wife's first name was Susan, not Faye. Faye was her married name before her marriage to Captain Heimrich. Sara
also corrected my description of Susan Heimrich's vocation. Rather than a run "dress shop", she designed and sold fabrics.
My thanks also to Jennifer Stallard who reminded me that Dorian Weigand was an artist, not a designer. Dorian worked as a free lancer doing work that included artwork
for ad campaigns.