To begin with, Pucci Lewis is a WASP, Women’s Airforce Service Pilot, that is, the organization established during World War II to ferry warplanes and perform other flight related duties to free up the men for operations against the enemy. Finding herself in Hollywood in this second installment of a series, the intrepid Pucci, master pilot and semi-professional government agent, becomes involved in all manner of skullduggery, including the suspicious crash of a fellow female pilot, possible Nazi agents, the black market, foreign propaganda, illegal drug trade, and even a Bela Lugosi in the downside of his career. All the while, she has to cope with promoting an organization threatened by a potent male backlash and keeping her bearings in the glitz and glamour of tinsel town.
There is more novel than history to this work. Although the WASPs, the environs of Fort Roach and nearby Hollywood are rendered competently, history is not allowed to get in the way of a good story. That is both this book’s blessing and its curse. As an amateur sleuth tale it succeeds, but it often feels that the historical background is mere prop. Pucci could be in any profession in any time period without the story missing a beat. Take this one as a light mystery, one that happens to throw in a bit of history along the way, and you won’t risk disappointment.