Thank you Kirkus Reviews! Here’s what they had to say about POSTER GIRL:
When a young female welder dies in a shipyard accident, a reporter suspects foul play in Blanton-Stroud’s mystery novel.
On Saturday, November 7, 1942, the Lowe Shipyard in Richmond, California is buzzing with excitement. Owner Adam Lowe is about to announce a contest, a challenge for his workers to build the next Liberty Ship in less than one week, beating the 10-day record recently set by the Lowe Portland shipyard up north. Plus, Adam has just hired, for the first time, women welders for the Richmond yard. This second part of the announcement is met with decidedly less enthusiasm. Jane Benjamin, gossip columnist for the local San Francisco Prospect, is there to cover the event. As the ceremony draws to a close, whistles and a horn sound from Yard Two of the complex. Jane follows her instincts and runs toward the whistle. There she sees the lifeless body of a young woman, Jeannie Lyons, her hand curled around a welding wand (“She lay at the base of a U-shaped concrete deck, facing the watery bays where five partly built ships lined up, the middle bay empty, like a missing tooth”). The death is declared to be work-related, resulting from carelessness and inexperience. Ambitious and intrepid, Jane has an idea to patriotically promote the replacement of soon-to-be-drafted male workers with women who can contribute to the war effort. The shipyard will run a contest to select a poster girl—Wendy the Welder—and Jane will have a career-boosting story. This third volume in the Jane Benjamin series gradually builds its way into an action-packed thriller as Jane races to uncover the nefarious doings at the shipyard before she becomes one of the victims. Intermingled with the sinister plotline are the politics, prejudices, and societal restrictions of the period, issues that lamentably still have currency. Appearances by notorious columnist Hedda Hopper add a realistic touch to the media frenzy, as well as some satisfying levity.
Lively prose, enjoyably edgy dialogue, and a delightful, unconventional, feminist heroine add up to a captivating page-turner.
An intriguing, tense, and entertaining read, with a sturdy female protagonist.
Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023
Page Count: 256
Publisher: She Writes Press