A Front Page Affair: A Kitty Weeks Mystery

Written by Radha Vatsal
Review by Viviane Crystal

Kitty Weeks is a reporter in the Ladies’ Fashion section of The Sentinel newspaper. She really doesn’t have to work, as she and her father are slightly well off, but this means she can interview members of the truly upper class. Her real name is Capability Weeks, which truly bespeaks her ability to tackle any job. She’s also more intelligent about current affairs than most of her peers, aware that after the sinking of the Lusitania and the shooting of J. P. Morgan in 1915, war may be looming closer than most Americans realize. The option of neutrality is about to change.

For now, Kitty is assigned to cover the posh Fourth of July party at the home of Mrs. Basshor. Kitty’s eccentric boss and the editor of the paper, Mrs. Busby, has given Kitty precise instructions on how she is to behave and conduct herself. From that point on, the world around Kitty and her father feels like it’s about to implode, all beginning with a murder at that spectacular party, which is filled with Japanese fireworks. Although the police believe the perpetrator has been found and the business finished, Kitty’s dissatisfaction with that theory causes her to explore the case in detail.

The plot becomes more complex as Kitty is questioned by the FBI, and investigations into what seems to be an easy-to-solve crime reveal a wartime conspiracy. Radha Vatsal ramps up the action in Kitty’s simple, rule-driven world to show how American women are beginning to shape their country in previously unheard-of ways. Delightful, intriguing, and relevant historical fiction!