31 May 2012

Just finished reading...

Don't Die Under the Apple Tree (Rosie the Riveter #1) by Amy Patricia Meade.

Rosie Doyle Keefe has a hard life.  Her husband was drafted into the army, her sister and nephew have moved in with her, and she's just started a new job at the shipyards in New York City.

Many of the male shipyard workers are not happy to have female co-workers, and some of them actively make things difficult for the women.  Rosie is a "passer":  she catches hot rivets in a metal container and fits them into pre-drilled holes before the next workers seal it with a pneumatic hammer.
Rosie's "heater", the worker who heats the rivets and tosses them to the passer, was deliberately tossing the rivets so they'd hit her.  Finally, Rosie retaliates by throwing a hot rivet back.

However, Rosie is the one who's disciplined.  Finch, the foreman calls her into his office, and says he'll let her keep her job if she allows him to molest her.  Furious, Rosie hits him in the head with a stapler and runs off.

Later that night, the NYPD Lieutenant Jack Riordan knocks on Rosie's apartment door and takes her to the station to question her about the murder of Robert Finch.  Finch's body had apparently been found under a pier near the shipyard, with his head bashed in.  Rosie understands that she's the prime suspect, having publicly argued with Finch earlier that day.  She also knows that she's innocent, and decides that the only way she'll stay out of jail is to prove it herself.

Rosie is an attractive protagonist, who embodies the strong, no-nonsense attitude of the women were called upon to do what was once considered man's work during World War II.  The relationship between Rosie, her sister Katie, and their mother is at once comical, touching, and realistic, and it will be interesting to see the characters develop.

Amy Patricia Meade is the author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries.  The first offering in her latest series with Midnight Ink Books, Well-Offed in Vermont, will be released this November. And her debut series with Kensington Books launched in May 2012 with Don’t Die Under the Apple Tree: A Rosie the Riveter Mystery.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book to review.

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