When Winter Returns by Kathryn Miller Haines

Reviewed by Teri Davis

winterAfter a grueling schedule of working overseas with a USO tour group in the South Pacific during the fall of 1943, Rosie Winter and her best friend, Jayne Hamilton, are looking forward to reestablishing their acting careers and personal lives back in New York City.

First, the two decide to take a detour to the home of Jayne’s deceased fiancé, to pay respects to his parents. Curiously, they soon discover that for some reason, the man to whom Jayne was engaged had taken the identity of another recruit who had died at Pearl Harbor two years earlier. Why would someone enlist in the military, join in the war effort, while pretending to be someone else? Could this person have been a spy?

Back in New York City, the two find that their old rooms at the rooming house are now inhabited. Rosie quickly becomes roommates with Ruby Priest, who has never liked her, while Jayne stays with Ann Fremont who lives an unusual life causing their interest. Added to this, Jayne’s ex boyfriend is hurt and wanted by the mob. So naturally the logical thing would be to hide him in a women’s boarding house.

Since the two are not gainfully employed yet, they decide to look further into the identity of deceased fiancé. They visit his old apartment and discover many of his belongings in storage which includes a locked trunk. When they finally open it, they discover five thousand dollars. Now, their curiosity is motivating them toward further investigations.

To complicate their lives more is Rosie’s former love, who is now engaged to another and is struggling with the loss of a leg and his potential acting career.

This is a realistic and fast-paced adventure of life during 1943 in New York. The characterization is phenomenally portrayed with the characters’ problems and successes. The action is fast. This is definitely the type of novel that entirely engrosses your thoughts while you read it.

WHEN WINTER RETURNS is the fourth in a series of books by Kathryn Miller Haines. Obviously, she bases much of her character, Rosie Winter, upon her own background in acting, and now a mystery writer and a playwright. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and their dogs.

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