Friday, November 18, 2022

Book Review: DEATH ON A DEADLINE (A Homefront News Mystery Book 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.


This is the second in A Homefront News Mystery series, featuring Irene Ingram as editor of the Progress, PA newspaper. It's time for the town fair and the goal this time is to sell war bonds to support the war effort. To add a push to the effort, celebrities are expected. Only instead of Clark Gable, it's a B-movie actor, who's married to one of Progress' own, Angel. When Freddie is killed, Angel is the prime suspect. Irene investigates and passes on the information she gathers to the Chief of police, her father-in-law. 

As with the first in the series, St. Anthony infuses the historical context into the mystery with references to the issues facing those who remain at home and those fighting the battles overseas. Her depiction of her characters is true to form, with Irene a strong lead at a time when women took on jobs previously reserved for men. Although the second in the series, this can easily be read as a stand alone.

For those who enjoy historical cozy mysteries, this should be a "must read." With engaging characters, the historical backdrop, and the home town feel, this will appeal to cozy mystery fans.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

About the Author

Joyce St. Anthony 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. In addition to the Homefront News Mysteries, she is the author of the Brewing Trouble Mysteries and the upcoming Cider House Mysteries written under her own name, Joyce Tremel. She lives in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania with her husband.

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