Last Seen Wearing ... (1952) is a U.S. detective novel by Hillary Waugh frequently referred to as the police procedural par excellence. Set in a fictional college town in Massachusetts, the book is about a female freshman who goes missing and the painstaking investigation carried out by the police with the aim of finding out what has happened to her and, if necessary, tracking down any perpetrator who has done her harm.
|Last Seen Wearing ...|
|Publisher||Doubleday Crime Club|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
"The police examine her past for any motive that might make her wish to disappear, or any reason why someone might want to kill her. They find her body after a long and frustrating search. As they sift all the evidence again and again, the identity of her killer slowly begins to emerge, like a photograph taking on recognizable features in the developing fluid" (Ian Ousby).
The novel, which minutely chronicles the work of the police, is told exclusively in chronological order. No piece of information is ever held back. At any given point in time, the reader knows just as much as the police — neither more nor less. The time narrated is 5½ weeks, from 3 March 1950 to 11 April 1950.
It is generally accepted that the novel is based on the true case of the December 1st 1946 vanishing of a Bennington College coed, 18-year-old Stamford, Connecticut, resident Paula Jean Welden, while hiking the Long Trail in the Green Mountains near Bennington, Vermont. That case has never been solved. It resulted, however, in the creation of Vermont's state police which did not exist at the time of the disappearance.