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The Winter of Her Discontent: A Rosie Winter Mystery (Rosie Winter Mysteries) Paperback – June 24, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Haines serves up hefty portions of medium-rare WWII home-front nostalgia, wartime slang and theater lore in her second Rosie Winter mystery (after 2007's The War Against Miss Winter). In March 1943, aspiring Broadway actress Rosie has her problems: she broke up with her sailor boyfriend, Jack, just before he shipped out and now he's missing in action; she's stuck with best friend Jayne in a cheap Manhattan rooming house with backstabbing theatrical aspirants; her petty gangster buddy Al's in the hoosegow for a murder Rosie's sure he didn't do; and beef rationing looms as a cruel April Fool's joke. Haines makes the girls' physical and emotional hungers both vivid and poignant as they desperately try to keep smiling, but her bitter tale about wartime sacrifices inevitably producing corruption is riddled with inaccuracies (e.g., U.S.A.A.F. officers wore olive drab, not dress blues; corporal isn't a navy rank). Still, Haines brings home the painful price the greatest generation paid more gallantly than anyone then knew. (July)
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From Booklist

The second Rosie Winter mystery finds the World War II–era Broadway actress (and former assistant to a private eye) using her sleuthing skills to solve a series of backstage crimes. Rosie and roommate Jane are cast in a troubled production of a musical financed by a lowlife mobster. After the show’s star is murdered and a pal of Rosie’s confesses to the crime, Rosie and Jane, not buying the confession, set out to find who really dunnit. As more accidents befall the cast and crew, it become clear that someone does not want the show to open. Haines capably combines home-front ambience (rationing, worries over soldier boyfriends) with plenty of backstage drama. The setting, a rooming house occupied by various actresses and dancers, provides no shortage of working-girl details, and Rosie and Jane make a winning team of feisty home-fronters. Several decades before Sex in the City, popular fiction thrived on less-explicit melodramas starring single gals making a go of it on their own; this entertaining tale draws on that tradition, successfuly spicing up the proceedings with a crime element. --Bill Ott
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Rosie Winter Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061139807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061139802
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER, Haines created the irrepressible, wise-cracking character of Rosie Winter and set her mystery tale against the backdrop of New York's theatre scene during World War II. While that highly enjoyable novel teased with a level of verisimilitude that we're not used to seeing in a lot of mystery series, Haines takes Rosie several steps further in WINTER OF HER DISCONTENT. While the first novel's theatre-set story took place with WW II as a backdrop, the follow-up novel goes several steps further, giving us a mystery that's even more integrated into the moral and ethical dilemnas of wartime America. The result is a book that's as zippy and sharp as the first, but with a richness of character that's firmly set in a very specific time and place. Haines examines every nook and cranny of wartime New York City without ever sacrifcing the pacing and thoughtfulness that made WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER such an enjoyable thriller. As pulpy and lively as it is, there's an emotional truth to this series that you won't find elsewhere. Haines is really on to something and I, for one, can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
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Format: Paperback
The second installment in the Rosie Winter mystery series offers more details on all fronts -- on Rosie, spunky actress and accidental private investigator, on life during WWII, as well as a backstage look at the NYC theatre scene. A great read for those who love historical mysteries and those with fabulous female heroines.
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Format: Paperback
Mrs. Haines has again captured the memories of the 40's in an outstanding mystery novel. Rosie is at her best trying to make ends meet as an actress and solve another crime at the same time. Mrs. Haines is able to describe the hardships faced by the up and coming thespians and at the same time weave a mystery that unfolds within the settings of the theatre. She is able to bring her characters to life and make us either love, hate or feel sorry for them. As she tells the story, WW II is ever present playing its part in the outcome of the novel. Mrs. Haines has again written a must read book that should be #1 on every mystery lovers list!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1943, the world was at war. In the New York Rosie was trying to make it in the theater and becoming more aware of the war effort going on around her. Sure, her sorta boyfriend was over there, but missing? Her roomie off-and-on dated a mobster, but Rosie just knows that this other small-time mobster did not kill a rising star. She's got to save him. Meanwhile, just exactly how did Rosie, not that she had two left feet, but close, get a dancing part in the new show? And how lucky that those girls in lead roles take her in and introduce her to the canteen where they dance with the fly-boys. Despite another of the starring girls who just happens to be Rosie's all-time, usually, enemy.

Tangled web, indeed. I enjoyed the skillfully woven-in history even more than the mystery.
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Format: Paperback
In 1943, wannabe Broadway actress Rosie Winter feels guilt and remorse as she just broke up with her boyfriend, sailor Jack, who is reported missing at sea. She and her roommate at Shaw House Jayne obtain work on the theatrical production of Goin' South, but Rosie fears the role will kill her career before it begins because she is part of the dance chorus and knows she can't dance; still it is work.

However, as opening night looms, Rosie feels good she has not been fired (so far). Someone kills one of the stars Paulette; shockingly Rosie's friend Al, the small time thug who works for Jayne's boyfriend Tony as an elbow breaker, confesses. Rosie does not believe Al committed the crime, so sets out to prove he is innocent even while dealing with beefless nights and starlets, as broke as she, live lives of luxury.

Although the final dance number seems somewhat anticlimactic, THE WINTER OF HER DISCONTENT is an entertaining WW II era New York tale. The amateur sleuth elements and the danger to Rosie and Jayne come late as the story line focuses on how the war impact people at home who sacrifice (some in strange ways like the black market repast industry that surfaces) to support the cause. Fans will enjoy this period piece in which the tidbits supersede the whodunit (see THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER for her previous home front WW II experience).

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
I read the first Rosie Winter mystery and liked it. The whole WWII scene of women trying to make a living and carry on while the men are away to lands unknown is a good background. I think Ms. Haines' writing is better in this one as usually happens when writers expand into other stories. This particular book involves a murder of an actress who was formerly a resident in the Shaw house, a boarding establishment for actresses where Rosie lives with her roommate Jayne and the elusive pet cat, Churchill who remains hidden from the landlady. We are introduced to mob type characters, like Al, Rosie's friend, Tony, the current jealous boyfriend of Jayne and then the directors of the show that star Rosie and Jayne. There's a lot going on behind the scenes of this not so great musical and Rosie starts to smell something bad. Why are the rehearsals shortened? Why do they need to be out of the theater at a certain time? Why are all these accidents and injuries of players happening? As Rosie starts to pry she gets into the world of black marketing as well as behind the doors of the Stage Door Canteen where soldiers spend their time in the arms of beautiful women before going overseas and maybe not coming back. The background of the l940s in NYC with references to Horn and Hardahrt, Scharff's restaurant, plus letting your imagination run wild with tunes of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and all the big bands of the era makes one feel like turning back the clock. I'd like to read more about Rosie and it looks like the author has written some more books in the series. It would be great to have Rosie meet Billy Boyle. I think they would have a lot in common!
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