The War Widow

The war may be officially over, but journalist Billie Walker’s search for a missing young immigrant man will plunge her right back into the danger and drama she thought she’d left behind in Europe in this thrilling tale of courage and secrets set in glamorous postwar Sydney. Out May 2020.

The war may be officially over, but journalist Billie Walker’s search for a missing young immigrant man will plunge her right back into the danger and drama she thought she’d left behind in Europe in this thrilling tale of courage and secrets set in glamorous postwar Sydney.

Sydney, 1946. Though war correspondent Billie Walker is happy to finally be home, for her the heady postwar days are tarnished by the loss of her father and the disappearance in Europe of her husband, Jack. To make matters worse, now that the war is over, the newspapers are sidelining her reporting talents to prioritize jobs for returning soldiers. But Billie is a survivor and she’s determined to take control of her own future. So she reopens her late father’s business, a private investigation agency, and, slowly, the women of Sydney come knocking.

At first, Billie’s bread and butter is tailing cheating husbands. Then, a young man, the son of European immigrants, goes missing, and Billie finds herself on a dangerous new trail that will lead up into the highest levels of Sydney society and down into its underworld. What is the young man’s connection to an exclusive dance club and a high class auction house? When the people Billie questions about the young man start to turn up dead, Billie is thrown into the path of Detective Inspector Hank Cooper. Will he take her seriously or will he just get in her way? As the danger mounts and Billie realizes that much more than one young man’s life is at stake, it becomes clear that though the war was won, it is far from over.

'Neatly incorporates history, social commentary, and a satisfying mystery in one appealing package. More, please!' - Kirkus Reviews.

(Published in Australia/New Zealand as Dead Man Switch.)

10 reviews for The War Widow

  1. Joanne Harris, award-winning author of Chocolat

    A cracking thriller, with a marvellous, strong, flamboyant heroine. Loved it.

  2. Angela Meyer, award-winning author of Joan Smokes and A Superior Spectre

    I so enjoyed getting to know Tara Moss’s wonderful new character, Billie Walker, in 1940s Sydney-set mystery [The War Widow]. Immersive, well-paced, entertaining, thoughtful – so enjoyable!

  3. The Sun Herald

    Tara Moss has created a streetwise, seductive and staunchly feminist sleuth who even darns her own stockings…[Billie Walker] is a former war correspondent, whose photojournalist husband is missing, presumed dead…The war might be over, but the novel is deeply interested in its wreckage.

  4. Readings Books

    True to its era down to the very fabric around Billie’s shoulders, this is a smartmouthed shot straight to the chest.

  5. Lynda La Plante, CBE, acclaimed author of Prime Suspect

    A terrific read.

  6. Ellen Keith, nationally bestselling author of The Dutch Wife

    Billie Walker is the type of heroine I’d love to befriend: resourceful, clever, adventurous, and a true fashionista. With a gripping plot and the perfect dose of history and intrigue, The War Widow has all the elements of a great page-turner.

  7. Halley Sutton, author of The Lady Upstairs

    Tara Moss’s THE WAR WIDOW is an excellent novel and an even better springboard for its crackerjack heroine: the indomitable Billie Walker. Like a harder-boiled Phryne Fisher meets Martha Gellhorn, Billie is the best kind of heroine: fun, flawed, smart, feminist, and feisty. Even down the darkest of paths—including but not limited to Nazi war profiteers, shady mobsters, cops on the take, and more—Billie is a beacon of light, never losing her sense of justice, or her enjoyment in life (and a good coupe of champagne!). Honestly, I’d follow Billie anywhere.

  8. Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls

    In Billie Walker, Moss has conjured up one kick-ass 1940s heroine: a tough-talking, hardboiled gumshoe who’s as adept with a pistol as she is on the dance floor, haunted by a tragic past, and unafraid to take on the darkest of foes. An artful, original take on noir suspense that resonates in today’s times.

  9. Publishers Weekly

    Rich period detail and a fierce, feminist heroine distinguish this stylish twist on the classic 1940s detective novel.

  10. Kirkus Reviews

    …the truth behind Adin’s abduction, in a very Dashiell Hammett–like turn of events, involves Nazi war criminals, stolen treasures… Billie is a smart, glamorous, kind, and well-turned-out woman, and her addition to the world of literary private detectives is welcome and deserved. She carries a bit of the hard-boiled tradition on her shoulders—the vulnerability, the brashness—while providing a completely feminine perspective on both the crimes and the approach to crime-solving. Moss clearly did a lot of research for the novel…The setting feels simultaneously familiar and exotic. Neatly incorporates history, social commentary, and a satisfying mystery in one appealing package. More, please!