Summary

With a captivating female protagonist, strong mystery, and vivid depictions, fans of both historical fiction and historical mystery should enjoy Front Page Murder. I know I did!

4-STAR REVIEW: FRONT PAGE MURDER by Joyce St. Anthony

The Description

A Homefront News Mystery: Book 1
Publication Date: March 8, 2022

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.

The Review

Front Page Murder is the first book in the Homefront News Mystery series by new-to-me author Joyce St. Anthony, who also writes as Joyce Tremel. It’s a fast-paced whodunnit set in a small town in Pennsylvania during World War II. 

The Progress Herald is front and center with Irene as the editor when her dad passed the baton to her since he is now a war correspondent. I liked how each chapter started with a headline from the newspaper related to the war.

Irene has her work cut out for her since some of the men she works with and others she interviews don’t think women should be in the workforce even while the men are off fighting the war. 

Irene’s cousin, Donny, who works with her, is one of those men. He tries to trip her up at every turn, but she doesn’t take any guff, and he finally seems to realize it. When a murder is ruled an accident, she starts digging for clues with her best friend, Peggy, her secretary at the newspaper. Katherine, a boarder at Irene’s family home, is not who she seems. 

Katherine is woven throughout the story in different roles and becomes a confidante of Irene’s as Irene tries to piece together the clues of what is going on at the plant in town. There are too many accidents and unexplained deaths to her liking, and Irene is always in the thick of things, much to the chagrin of the police chief, who is also her future father-in-law. 

The characters added layers to the richness of the story. I liked the detailed descriptions that made me feel like I was there. The story has a nice flow as clues are uncovered and dissected until the crimes are solved. Of course, Irene seemed to be one step ahead of the police force. 

There was nice closure, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Death on a Deadline. I liked the small-town feel of the cover.  

I felt the adrenaline as Irene uncovered clue after clue. She was always thorough in her interviews and sleuthing. My interest was held from the first page to the last as we got to know the characters and the town.

With a captivating female protagonist, strong mystery, and vivid depictions, fans of both historical fiction and historical mystery should enjoy Front Page MurderI know I did!

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About The AuthorJoyce 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.

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REVIEW AUTHOR

JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss
JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5001736?ref=nav_mybooks JoAnne currently reviews for two sites - NovelsAlive.com and RomanceJunkies.com Previously she reviewed for Romancing-the-Book.com which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!

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4-STAR REVIEW: FRONT PAGE MURDER by Joyce St. AnthonyWith a captivating female protagonist, strong mystery, and vivid depictions, fans of both historical fiction and historical mystery should enjoy Front Page Murder. I know I did!