Tough-talking New York shamus Faye Quick (This Dame for Hire, 2005) asks what happened to a missing GI and why trouble seems to follow the woman who’s looking for him.
Claire Turner’s known Charlie Ladd for only six months, but that’s long enough to tell her that he’s the one. So when he doesn’t turn up for their fourth date on the fourth day of his weeklong Army leave in July 1943, she visits A Detective Agency, shoves a fistful of bills at Faye and demands that she find him. Faye soon realizes that finding Charlie’s whereabouts may be easier than figuring out what kind of guy he is. Is he really the devoted son of a blue-blood Rhode Island family? A two-timing Lothario actually engaged to another woman? A fraud? A rapist? A kidnap victim? A corpse? When the dead body found in the cupboard of Charlie’s hotel room turns out to be Private David Cooper, the friend on leave with him, the case develops disturbing new dimensions. But sprightly Faye is never disturbed for long. She’s too busy making time with her cop boyfriend, describing every woman she meets in exhaustive detail and dropping period slang at every opportunity.
As usual with Scoppettone, who just can’t keep a secret, the slack mystery takes a backseat to her loving recreation of the good war’s home front.