‘Fancy Anders Goes To War’ Book Review By Ron Fortier

Fancy Anders Goes To War Book Review By Ron Fortier

FANCY ANDERS GOES TO WAR
By Max Allan Collins
Illustrated by Fay Dalton
Neo Text
118 pgs

During World War Two, so many of America’s sons went off fighting a war, it fell on America’s daughters to keep the homefront afloat. Now for those mothers and wives living on farms and ranches, none of this was new as they already knew what hard labor was all about. Whereas their city cousins who had only punched a clock behind a store counter or handled a typewriter, they were not at all prepared for the noisy, sweaty, production factories they were required to keep working. The war effort needed lots of planes and tanks and lots of other vital military equipment. Thus in the thousands, these gals put aside their lipsticks for headscarves, and high-heels for work boots and rolled up their sleeves to do their part. Thus was born Rosy the Riveter.

Considering the five long years the war lasted, we’ve always been amazed that Hollywood for the most part has ignored this phenomenon of a woman-dominated America and only given us two major productions centered on the period. The first is the horrendous 1984 “Swing Shift” directed by Jonathan Damme and starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Its intentions might have been good, but the story was bland and boring. As for the second, we’ll get to that eventually.

Now mystery writer Max Allan Collins has turned his always active imagination to that subject matter in “Fancy Anders Goes To War,” and delivers a short, fun, and exciting tale debuting a wonderful new character. Francine Anders’ father operates a private investigation business out of Los Angeles. When he is called away to Washington to help with the establishment of the military’s new intelligence department, he leaves Fancy behind to manage the office. What he assumes will be simple record-keeping and maintenance stuff.

What Anders senior couldn’t foresee was the death of a young woman at the Amalgamated Aircraft Factory.  Although reported as an accident, the owner of the firm has suspicions to the contrary. Being a good friend of the family, he suggests that Fancy investigate. With the help of a city detective, she agrees and soon goes undercover as a new employee. Once again, Collins sets the stage with detailed historical accuracy as Fancy finds herself working with other patriotic, self-sacrificing women unafraid to get their hands dirty and willing to take on any job that will help America win the war. Yet working side by side with these women, and their male supervisors, might be a murderer. Fancy’s challenge is not only to uncover the killer but at the same time the motive for the crime.

It’s a dandy mystery and Fancy and her friends are wonderfully realized. We’d also like to tip our pulp fedora to artist Fay Dalton who provides not only a great colorful cover but some equally beautiful interior illustrations. Something we don’t get enough of these days. Finally, we did mention there was a second movie about women during wartime; Penny Marshall’s delightful “A League of Their Own,” with Tom Hanks and Gena Davis. This only makes us wonder if maybe Fancy might return in a sequel. “Fancy Anders Strikes Out” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

ESO Network Sponsors

GEEK CHIC IS THE NEW … CHIC
COME TO THE GEEK SIDE. WE HAVE THE BEST SWAG

Support Us

A Dollar a month keeps us in orbit. Trust us it’s better that way.

Ways to Listen

Find Us Wherever Fine Podcasts are Found

Sign Up for the ESO Newsletter

WE HARDLY EVER SEND THEM OUT BUT WHEN WE DO THEY ARE AWESOME

ESO Network Archives

Archives

No matter where you go here you are

Follow the ESO Network

You didn't come this far to only come this far

Contact Us

    Remember any comment made today will be the tomorrow you worried about yesterday

    <-- see them in a pretty grid

    42 Cast
    The Best Saturdays of Our Lives
    Blurred Nerds
    But First, Let's Talk Nerdy
    Cigar Nerds
    The Con Guy

    Most Recent Episodes

    Cosmic Pizza
    Dragon Con Report
    Drinking with Authors

    Most Recent Episodes

    Earth Station DCU
    Earth Station One
    Earth Station Trek
    Earth Station Who
    Epsilon Three
    Flopcast
    Metal Geeks
    Modern Musicology
    Monkeeing Around
    Monster Attack
    The Monster Scifi Show
    Soul Forge
    Thunder Talk
    The Watch-a-thon of Rassilon