Novelist and Pitt Staffer Kathryn Miller Haines Launches Her Third Book

Issue Date: 
May 11, 2009

Kathryn Miller HainesKathryn Miller Haines

Winter in June, the third book in the Rosie Winter mystery series by local author and University of Pittsburgh staff member Kathryn Miller Haines, finds the heroine Rosie plucked from New York City’s embattled theater scene and plunked into the Pacific Theater of World War II. Thousands of miles from home, the struggling actress and reluctant sleuth once again winds up working a string of murders when she’d rather focus on her stage career.

The novel follows Haines’ 2008 book, The Winter of Her Discontent (Harper), and will be available May 19 from Harper Paperbacks. A publication party will be held at 7 p.m. June 12 at Mystery Lovers Bookshop, 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont. Haines, the associate director of Pitt’s Center for American Music, will join Pitt professor of theater arts Kathleen George, whose novel The Odds (St. Martin’s Minotaur) will be available June 9. The book is the fourth in George’s Pittsburgh-based mystery series.

Winter in June opens in 1943, and Rosie has finally landed steady work entertaining troops in the Solomon Islands. Her career stateside got knocked around when she stumbled into murder cases in Haines’ first—The War Against Miss Winter (Harper, 2007)—and second books. Rosie thought the change of scenery would change her luck. But starting with the blonde she found bobbing in San Francisco Bay, Winter is bombarded with puzzling crimes, shady military types, and a bad-girl sex symbol on the outs with Hollywood.

As with her previous books in the series, Haines’ rendering of the 1940s in Winter in June has been characterized as saturated with detail and stripped of nostalgia, capturing realistic attitudes, language, and sights and sounds of the time. The trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly wrote of Haines’ latest: “Full of evocative period detail (a sailor is called Spanky after the kid in the Our Gang comedies), this entry, for all its humorous and lighthearted moments, builds to a dramatic and sobering conclusion.”

A review in the American Library Association’s Booklist noted, “This third in a series is firmly set in its wartime locale and includes period slang and details of the USO and its entertainers. It will appeal to fans of Margit Liesche’s Pucci Lewis mysteries, also about women’s roles in World War II.”

Haines is currently working on the fourth and final Rosie novel due for publication in summer 2010. She also recently signed a two-book deal with Roaring Brook Press, a division of MacMillan Publishing, for a young adults series titled Homefront, which features a 15 year old whose mother has died and father has returned from World War II an injured and different man. The first book is scheduled for publication in early 2011.

Also an actress and playwright, Haines has been an active performer in Pittsburgh theater since 1994. Her plays have won several awards from the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, including Best Playwright (2003), Best Production (2004), Best Actress (2001, 2003), and Best Director (2001, 2004). Her play The Mistress was included as part of the 2003 Samuel French Best of Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in English from Pitt in 1997.

More information on Haines and the Rosie Winter series—including book reviews—is available on Haines’ Web site at