My name is Peggy and I didn’t want to write this…
My name is Peggy and I didn’t want to write this, but my best friend, Irene asked me to fill you in. I’m not a reporter—she is. I don’t write articles like she does. I answer the telephone and work on getting advertisers for the Progress Herald. Irene’s father was my boss until he put Irene in charge so he could go overseas to be a war correspondent. Irene says he’s on a ship heading for the Pacific.
The Herald is a great place to work even though some of the reporters aren’t exactly too keen on having a girl for a boss. I think they’ll get used to it eventually. My fiancé, Ken, works here too. He’s our sports reporter. He likes having Irene as a boss, but then we all went to school together—me, Ken, Irene, and her fiancé, Bill. Bill’s down south somewhere training with the Third Armored Division. Ken would have loved to do the same, but he was badly injured in a car accident a couple years ago. Otherwise, he’d have been playing professional baseball by now. He can really throw a ball! Ken likes working here, but it bothers him sometimes that he’s not able to enlist like the other boys in town. I keep telling him there are other ways to serve. Heck, he’s doing a service by working for a newspaper. People need to know what’s going on, right?
Let’s see. What else should I tell you? Oh, yeah. The biggest employer in the area is Tabor Ironworks and they’re having a ceremony today to celebrate converting their equipment from making automobile parts to making parts like nuts, bolts, and rivets for ships and tanks for companies like Dravo and American Bridge—right down the river in Pittsburgh. That’s where Irene is now. Moe Bauer, one of the reporters here was supposed to cover the ceremony but he didn’t show up for work today. He does that once in a while. Well, maybe more than once in a while. It aggravates Irene to no end that he goes off on his own like that without checking in. Irene sent him to cover something that happened yesterday at the hardware store and he didn’t even show up to talk to Mr. Markowicz. I know for one thing—he’s going to get a good talking to when he decides to grace us with his presence again. Irene plans to put her foot down this time. She’s warned him before about not keeping her informed about what he’s doing. I don’t think she’ll fire him, even though that’s what the other reporters think she should do.
Irene’s cousin, Donny, who does the layout for the Herald, is always flapping his lips that Moe should be fired. Donny’s a piece of work, let me tell you. I’ve never heard anyone whine as much as he does. Irene says that Donny expected to be put in charge when Mr. Ingram left. He wasn’t happy to have his younger cousin become his boss and he lets Irene know that as often as he can. Mr. Ingram made the right decision though. As Irene says, Donny couldn’t write his way out of a paper bag, let alone run a newspaper.
Well, I just heard Irene come in, so I’ll wrap this up. I’m sure she’ll have a lot to tell me about the big to-do at Tabor. I heard there’s a new vice president there who looks like Gary Cooper. I’ll need to get the scoop on that. It’s been nice telling you a little bit about this place. And I expect each and every one of you will do what you can to support the war effort. We’ll beat the Japanese and Germans if you all do your part!
About The Book
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.
About the Author
Joyce 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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