Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Winter of Her Discontent-Kathryn Miller Haines

The Winter of Her Discontent
Kathryn Miller Haines
Harper, Jun 24 2008, $13.95
ISBN: 9780061139802

In 1943, wannabe Broadway actress Rosie Winter feels guilt and remorse as she just broke up with her boyfriend, sailor Jack, who is reported missing at sea. She and her roommate at Shaw House Jayne obtain work on the theatrical production of Goin’ South, but Rosie fears the role will kill her career before it begins because she is part of the dance chorus and knows she can’t dance; still it is work.

However, as opening night looms, Rosie feels good she has not been fired (so far). Someone kills one of the stars Paulette; shockingly Rosie’s friend Al, the small time thug who works for Jayne’s boyfriend Tony as an elbow breaker, confesses. Rosie does not believe Al committed the crime, so sets out to prove he is innocent even while dealing with beefless nights and starlets, as broke as she, live lives of luxury.

Although the final dance number seems somewhat anticlimactic, THE WINTER OF HER DISCONTENT is an entertaining WW II era New York tale. The amateur sleuth elements and the danger to Rosie and Jayne come late as the story line focuses on how the war impact people at home who sacrifice (some in strange ways like the black market repast industry that surfaces) to support the cause. Fans will enjoy this period piece in which the tidbits supersede the whodunit (see THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER for her previous home front WW II experience).

Harriet Klausner