Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Death on a Deadline by Joyce St. Anthony

 Death on a Deadline
Book Summary

Editor-in-chief Irene Ingram pencils in her newest mystery in Joyce St. Anthony’s second captivating Homefront News mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.

As World War II rages in Europe and the Pacific, the small town of Progress is doing its part for the soldiers in the field with a war bond drive at the annual county fair. Town gossip Ava Dempsey rumors that Clark Gable will be among the participating stars. Instead of Gable, the headliner is Freddie Harrison, a B-movie star. When Freddie turns up dead in the dunk tank, Irene Ingram, editor-in-chief of The Progress Herald, starts chasing the real headline.
There are plenty of suspects and little evidence. Ava’s sister Angel, who was married to the dead actor, is the most obvious. The couple had argued about his affair with the young starlet Belinda Fox, and Angel was the last person to see Freddie alive.
Irene discovers there’s more than one person who might have wanted Freddie dead. As Irene draws on her well-honed reporter’s instincts to find the killer—nothing is what it seems in Progress, and now her own deadline could be right around the corner.
My Thoughts

We return to Progress, Pennsylvania where Irene Ingram has become editor-in chief of the newspaper, the Progress Herald in her father’s absence.  There will be a war bond drive held during the fair and Ava Dempsey, who owns the local beauty parlor and is also the town gossip, is spreading the rumor that Clark Gable will be one of the participating stars.  Ava states she heard it from her sister, Angel who is an actress and is part of the war bond drive.  The headliner turns out to be Angel’s two-timing husband, Freddie Harrison.  Irene finds Freddie dead in the fair’s dunk tank.  There are plenty of suspects including Angel and Freddie’s latest paramour, Belinda Fox.  Irene uses her investigative skills to hone in on the killer.

Death on a Deadline by Joyce St. Anthony is the second A Homefront News Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series.  I thought Death on a Deadline was well-written with steady pacing.  I like Irene Ingram who is a smart, friendly, and spunky woman.  She is a realistic, developed character.  I like Irene’s interactions with her best friend, Peggy and her almost father-in-law Police Chief Walter Turner.  The whodunit was intriguing and fun to solve.  There are plenty of people who wished Freddie dead.  Irene asks questions and gathers clues.  I like that Irene works with Chief Turner.  They share information and bounce ideas off each other.   There was a complete wrap up at the end, so we are not left with lingering questions.  There is humor scattered throughout the story.  Ava’s sister, Angel is a piece of work.  Irene’s cousin, Donnie also provides amusement.  The author captured the time period with the historical references including the war bond drive and rationing.  Before each chapter is a newspaper headline from the Progress Herald that includes the latest war news.    I enjoyed the reference to Mrs. Miniver (good movie).  The ending was perfect.  Death on a Deadline is a captivating cozy with a war bond rally, rampant rumors, a slain star, sugar rationing, an over-the-top thespian, a cheerful cousin, and a curious reporter.  

Death on a Deadline is available from Amazon*.  The first A Homefront News Mystery is Front Page Murder.  You can follow Joyce St. Anthony on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I will return tomorrow with A Royal Visit to Victory Street by Pam Howes.  It is the fifth story in The Bryant Sisters series.  I am off to get some chores done.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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