It’s 1942, and Irene Ingram is managing The Progress Herald while her Dad is covering the front lines. She’s in tiny Progress, Pennsylvania, and everyone in town is in a state of excitement at the news that Clark Gable will possibly be attending the war bond rally at their county fair. The sensible and skeptical Irene is not so sure about it, though, and the book starts with her trying to get to the truth of the Clark Gable rumor.
This is a bit of a different take on a WWII mystery. Many of the books are set in Europe, where the war was a daily and deadly occurrence. However, the war reached its fingers everywhere, and even tiny Progress feels the impact. Sweethearts, brothers and husbands are away; there’s shortages of almost everything; women are working in places they hadn’t before, like the newspaper. St. Anthony brings the war home with her chapter epigraphs in the form of newspaper headlines, detailing the sinking of ships and lives lost all over the globe, and some even close to home. The U.S. was not inviolable, as Pearl Harbor proved.