A budding journalist fights for her place in a world full of disturbing changes.
As the U.S. hovers on the fringes of World War I, Capability “Kitty” Weeks yearns to make her job as a reporter on the Ladies’ Page of the New York Sentinel a little more exciting. Her chance comes when a guest is murdered at the society Independence Day gala she’s been sent to cover at the Basshor estate. Hunter Cole had never been popular among the elite. Although he came from a good family, his wife is from the wrong side of the tracks. So his death seems remarkable only for where it happened. The police soon arrest a stable worker at the estate, but Kitty, who doubts the man's guilt, snoops around the widow’s apartment, where she finds a number of glass vials in a medicine cabinet and takes one with her only to be told by a pharmacist that it's just water. Kitty’s mother died when she was very young; she was raised by her father in Europe, where she attended a series of boarding schools. Now that the U.S. requires passports for citizens returning from abroad, Kitty realizes how little she actually knows about her father, who’s distressed about the paperwork. After two Secret Service agents approach her to ask about her father’s business contacts, she finds herself investigating her own father, whose activities may be somehow involved with German spies, the Cole murder, and that mysterious vial of something that certainly isn’t water. Fired from her job for encroaching on the real news side of the paper, she continues to hunt for clues to help her father and solve a murder, a hunt that puts her in grave danger.
This first in a planned series is a nice combination of mystery and thriller seasoned by historical facts and a look at women’s lives before woman’s liberation.