Front Page Murder
Front Page Murder (A Homefront News Mystery) by Joyce St. Anthony
About Front Page Murder
In this World War II-era historical mystery series debut by Joyce St. Anthony, small-town editor Irene Ingram has a nose for news and an eye for clues.
Irene Ingram has written for her father’s newspaper, the Progress Herald, ever since she could grasp a pencil. Now she’s editor in chief, which doesn’t sit well with the men in the newsroom. But proving her journalistic bona fides is the least of Irene’s worries when crime reporter Moe Bauer, on the heels of a hot tip, turns up dead at the foot of his cellar stairs.
An accident? That’s what Police Chief Walt Turner thinks, and Irene is inclined to agree until she finds the note Moe discreetly left on her desk. He was on to a big story, he wrote. The robbery she’d assigned him to cover at Markowicz Hardware turned out to be something far more devious. A Jewish store owner in a small, provincial town, Sam Markowicz received a terrifying message from a stranger. Moe suspected that Sam is being threatened not only for who he is…but for what he knows.
Tenacious Irene senses there’s more to the Markowicz story, which she is all but certain led to Moe’s murder. When she’s not filling up column inches with the usual small-town fare—locals in uniform, victory gardens, and scrap drives—she and her best friend, scrappy secretary Peggy Reardon, search for clues. If they can find the killer, it’ll be a scoop to stop the presses. But if they can’t, Irene and Peggy may face an all-too-literal deadline.
About Joyce St. Anthony
Joyce was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. As Joyce St. Anthony, she is the author of the Homefront News Mysteries. The first in the series, Front Page Murder, will be (or was, depending on the blog date) released on March 8, 2022. Under her own name--Joyce Tremel--she wrote the award winning Brewing Trouble cozy mystery series. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats--Hops and Lager.
Front Page Murder by Joyce St. Anthony is the debut of A Homefront News Mystery series. Irene Ingram has been appointed as the editor-in-chief of the Progress Herald by her father while he is away doing his bit for the war. This change does not sit well with some of the men at the paper, but Irene has been preparing for this since she was a child. When reporter, Moe Bauer goes MIA, Irene stops by his house to check on him. She finds the door open and Moe dead at the bottom of his cellar steps. Police Chief Walt Turner tells her the coroner has ruled Moe’s death an accident, but Irene has her doubts. She found a note to her in Moe’s desk hidden in a book. In Moe’s note, he stated that he was working on a story at the time of his death that was hot and, if he ended up dead, then he got too close and it got him killed. Irene wants to know what Moe was working on and sets out to get answers.
Front Page Murder is well-written with a developed main character. I like the plucky Irene Ingram. She is smart, headstrong, determined, and she can handle herself. There is a cast of secondary characters that include her best friend and secretary, Peggy Reardon, Irene’s sister and mother, and the local police chief who will be her father-in-law someday. I thought the author captured the time period very well. I can tell she did her research. I like how she incorporated victory gardens and scrap metal drives into the story as well as the latest war news. I thought the language and attitudes suited the era as well. Men not liking women working or in charge is evident. Discrimination against Jews is in the story. The mystery was interesting. Irene dived into the case. She searched for clues and asked questions around town. She does get assistance from Katherine, a woman boarding with the Ingram’s. There are several suspects in the case, but I felt one stood out. Irene is on the beam and the killer must eliminate her before he takes a powder. The mystery is wrapped up and almost all our questions are answered. I like that the book ends on a happy note. I did feel the pacing was a little slow at times. We follow Irene as she goes about her day-to-day activities (working at the paper, writing articles, dinner with family, etc.). I loved that the author had Irene getting lunch at Woolworth’s (I loved eating there too). There is humor sprinkled throughout the story. Front Page Murder is a swell historical cozy mystery that is a great start to A Homefront News Mysteries. Front Page Murder is a killer diller with a moxie maven, a dishy dame, a cheesy chap, a cockeyed clue, a dead dude who had the dope, an eager beaver sibling, and a crumb killer.
The Avid Reader
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