Set amid the theatre scene of war-time NYC, The War Against Miss Winter introduces us to the irrepressible Rosie Winter, an aspiring actress looking for her big break but forced to work as a file clerk in a detective agency to make ends meet. As 1942 ushers in 1943, Rosie finds herself about to be thrown out of her working actresses only boarding house and her boyfriend shipping out for the war. Things take another turn for the worse when she discovers her boss's corpse, leading her to try to find out who murdered him and made it look like a suicide.
Rosie's a busy girl, but she is also tenacious, sarcastic, headstrong, and determined, so she begins following clues to find out what might have gotten her boss killed. Along the way, she meets some unsavory characters and uncovers traces of a missing play at the root of the act. With her best friend Jayne, Rosie goes full tilt toward solving the dangerous mystery while suffering through humiliating rehearsals as an understudy in a not very good play.
While I wasn't particularly surprised at the mystery, I will say that the setting and the characters are truly the heart of this novel. Rosie is just wonderful with her subtle manuevers and her fierce loyalty, and the people she encounters in both her professional and personal lives are just as interesting. I could feel the war coloring everything as it must have done, and I could easily picture the burgeoning theatre community of the times. This novel is so much fun and the beginning of an intriguing series. I can't wait to get to the next one!