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    Review of WINTER OF DISCONTENT by Jeanne M. Dams (see her website)


    Forge, December 2004

    When museum curator Bill Fanshawe vanishes just days before he is supposed to marry her best friend, Dorothy Martin swings into action. It's too late for Bill, and almost too late for his assistant--who is attacked in the museum. Dorothy decides the attack must relate to Bill's World War II service in the Royal Air Force. World War II veterans are a dying group, but Dorothy and her friend Jane are able to track down a few survivors. Still, what possible memories from a war more than sixty years in that past could justify assault--or even murder.

    Dorothy discovers that sixty years matters relatively little to the English--who are still taking sides from the English Civil War of the 1600s. Those connected with Bill's air unit have strong memories--and continued anger over their losses and the way the war was fought.

    Author Jeanne M. Dams's (see more reviews of novels by Dams) aging protagonist worries about her own health and future as she sees the decline in the WWII generation. Despite this, Dorothy is hard to really like--or identify with. Her leaps to conclusion--that Bill's death must have something to do with the war (because he hadn't done anything in the sixty years since?), yet her failure to really get at the recently donated items is hard to understand. Because Dorothy had relatively few stakes in the outcome of the investigation, reader interest is also reduced.

    WINTER OF DISCONTENT is easy to read and engaging enough to be hard to put down. The 'American in England' approach lets American readers see England through American eyes--allowing the author to comment on aspects of society and history that an English protagonist would simply take for granted. I wish, though, that Dorothy could have been a bit more clever, endangered, or active--increasing my interest in the plot

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 2/24/05

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