Rosie Winter and her best pal Jayne are struggling actresses trying to make it in New York City in the middle of World War II. But between the recent murder of Paulette, a fellow actress who lived in their boardinghouse, and their mobster friend Al’s confession that he did the deed, Rosie and Jayne aren’t exactly focused on chasing their dreams of fame. Rosie is convinced that Al’s innocent, so she gets herself cast in the show that Paulette was starring in before she died. She soon learns that the show seems plagued by bad luck: dancers slip and injure themselves, actresses are hit by cars, and even Rosie’s nemesis Ruby suddenly falls ill. As Rosie investigates Paulette’s murder and tries to find out what’s behind all the “accidents,” she eventually discovers a lot more than she bargained for — all while trying to survive rationing, blackouts, and not knowing whether her ex-boyfriend Jack is dead or alive.
I really liked the first book in this series, The War Against Miss Winter, so I immediately set out to acquire the rest of them! This is book 2, and it largely met my expectations, though I don’t think it’s quite as good as book 1. I enjoy Rosie’s blunt voice, which is littered with 1940s slang, and I think that both she and her best friend Jayne are very interesting characters. The mystery aspect of this book is definitely secondary to the character development and the WWII setting, but I thought it was rather clever. I also liked the showbiz setting of much of the novel, but obviously that won’t be appealing to everyone. At this point, I’m curious to see what’s next for Rosie, especially in her romantic relationships. She’s still carrying a torch for Jack and trying to find out where he is, but it’s a little hard for me to be invested since Jack hasn’t been “on page” yet. I’m also intrigued to follow her career, since it seems she’s bound for the South Pacific with the USO in book 3. I’m looking forward to continuing with Rosie’s adventures!