An undeniable triumph for both author and lead character on debut, "The War Against Miss Winter" is a witty, period-perfect portrayal of the exploits of an endearing young woman who has one eye set on stardom, and the other on the look-out for anything of a suspicious nature. Set in New York in the 1940s, our heroine, Rosie Winter, is a talented, yet unemployed aspiring actress, who has a fall-back day job at a small detective agency. Her boss, Jim McCain does the normal "cheating spouses" cases through the front door, but has another type of clientele that make use of the fire escape and the back window to his office.
Just after the Christmas holidays, Rosie visits the office and finds her boss swinging, and not in a good way. Although ruled a suicide by a cynical police investigator, Rosie isn't convinced, and soon finds herself swept up in her most dangerous role ever, involving mobsters, murderers, hired muscle, a missing play and a lot of people desperately seeking salvation.
Strong female characters dominate every chapter, and this novel is so rich in description that you'll turn the last page with the feeling that you were actually there. A very promising debut by Kathryn Miller Haines, and hopefully just book one in the Rosie Winter detective series.
just occasionally a new writer comes along and produces a genre busting novel, in recent times we have seen Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May and the superb Maisie Dobbs novels of Jaqueline Winspear. Here is another writer to be treasured. Haines's Rosie Winter is a serious threat to the hard-boiled genre once the province of the male writer. This book has not only a driving narrative that makes you read it as you want to "find out" but also it has a dry wit (so rare these days) and a reasearch that does not eclipse the story with its knowingness. For extra fun each chapter is names after a well known play which allows an interactive qualilty to the book. Highly recommended and I cant wait to read the next one