Mary Collins. The Sister of Cain (1943) 256 pp.
Newly-married Hilda Moreau arrives in San Francisco after her husband, David, has been sent overseas during World War II to set the legal wheels in motion that will dissolve a trust in which her husband’s oldest sister, Pauline, controls all of the family money. The trust states that it can be dissolved after one of the beneficiaries marries. Upon her arrival at the Moreau house (in real life “Monroe’s Medieval Mansion,” at Hyde and Greenwich, on Russian Hill, which was built by a naval architect in the Gothic Revival style and was torn down shortly after the story was written), she discovers that Pauline will fight to maintain control of the trust and that David’s other unmarried sisters (Sophie, a giddy bleached blonde of 40, Ann, a doctor, Elise, the family beauty and an alcoholic, Marthe, a secretary, and Rose, the 20-year old “baby”) all hate Pauline because she has controlled not only their money, but also their lives. Pauline is murdered, and Hilda, the interloper, is a prime suspect. Most of the action takes place on Russian Hill; other settings include a house on Leavenworth and the Russ Building on Montgomery.
Baird & Greenwood 519
Herron
Hubin
M.B.