Death on a Deadline (Homefront News Mystery #2) by Joyce St. Anthony


“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.”

-Synopsis from StoryGraph


Cover image from StoryGraph

Death on a Deadline is the second book in the Homefront News Mystery series. How great is that cover? I started this cozy-historical-mystery series last year and loved the first book. I liked this one too, but not quite as much as the first.

I think it’s because I don’t like Ava’s character that much, to be quite honest. She isn’t exactly a beloved member of the town of Progress, as was the situation with the previous book which was centered on some more likable characters. Not only that, but she is not directly involved in the murder. She is just far enough removed from it that I wasn’t very compelled to find out who targeted her sister’s fiancé and why. I wasn’t very sympathetic towards Ava’s sister, either, because she was so flighty. I guess you can say I’m not a fan of either of Dempsey sisters.

What I did want to see more of was Irene investigating, which we get plenty of in this story. I really like her character, and it makes sense that even if she doesn’t care for Ava or her sister, she wants to investigate because she can’t stand injustice. I was mostly just reading because I like the writing, dialogue, and the setting.

I would still read future books in this series if there happen to be any.

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