The War Widow by Tara Moss

January 6th, 2021 Kimberly Review 12 Comments

6th Jan
The War Widow by Tara Moss
The War Widow
by Tara Moss
Series: Billie Walker Mystery #1
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The war may be officially over, but journalist Billie Walker's search for a missing young immigrant man will plunge her right back into the danger and drama she thought she'd left behind in Europe in this thrilling tale of courage and secrets set in glamorous postwar Sydney.

Sydney, 1946. Though war correspondent Billie Walker is happy to finally be home, for her the heady postwar days are tarnished by the loss of her father and the disappearance in Europe of her husband, Jack. To make matters worse, now that the war is over, the newspapers are sidelining her reporting talents to prioritize jobs for returning soldiers. But Billie is a survivor and she's determined to take control of her own future. So she reopens her late father's business, a private investigation agency, and, slowly, the women of Sydney come knocking.

At first, Billie's bread and butter is tailing cheating husbands. Then, a young man, the son of European immigrants, goes missing, and Billie finds herself on a dangerous new trail that will lead up into the highest levels of Sydney society and down into its underworld. What is the young man's connection to an exclusive dance club and a high class auction house? When the people Billie questions about the young man start to turn up dead, Billie is thrown into the path of Detective Inspector Hank Cooper. Will he take her seriously or will he just get in her way? As the danger mounts and Billie realizes that much more than one young man's life is at stake, it becomes clear that though the war was won, it is far from over.

mystery SUSPENSE well written historical

I easily slipped into this hard-boiled noir fiction set in glamorous postwar Sydney. Come meet Billie Walker, a private investigator who takes over her late father’s agency. An intense case and spunky heroine made The War Widow by Tara Moss, a page-turner.

Moss takes us to Sydney, 1946 postwar. Billie has returned after losing her father and the disappearance of her husband, Jack. It’s a time of rations and women finding them in themselves, in the position of supporting themselves. Even as society frowns upon it. Armed with her favorite shade of red lipstick, Billie takes over her father’s detective agency. Until now she has handled domestic matters like cheating husbands. Her newest case has her searching for the son of an immigrant couple and navigating the underbelly of the city.

Do you read in color? I do, and this story unfolded in black and white as I became swept up in the investigation. I adored Billie. She has nerves of steel and an eye for making connections. Her secretary and muscle Sam was sweet and good with his fists.

The case had ties to the war and spotlighted some profiting that occurred as they search for this young man. I found it all riveting. I love noir crime novels and devoured collections of hard-boiled PI novels my grandparents had in their library. This tale offered a twist with a female PI, that I found refreshing.

A solid case, well-developed characters set against the backdrop of Sydney were delightful. I am looking forward to the next Billie Walker Mystery. I cannot wait to see what case Billie and Sam deal with next!

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

12 Responses to “The War Widow by Tara Moss”

  1. Tyler H. Jolley

    I also read in color. It’s amazing when an author can draw you in so deeply the you fall into the noir setting and never look back. Excellent review, Kimba!

  2. Jen

    Oh… this cover is gorgeous and the story sounds wonderful. Adding yet another book to my TBR! Happy New Year!