Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Women Sleuths

The War Widow

A Novel

by (author) Tara Moss

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
May 2020
Women Sleuths, Historical, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


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

Sydney, Australia, 1946. Though war correspondent Billie Walker is happy to finally be home, the heady post-war days are tarnished by the death 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. 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 to the highest levels of Sydney society as well as the city’s underworld. What is the young man’s connection to an exclusive dance club and a high-class auction house? When the people she questions start to turn up dead, Billie is thrown into the path of Detective Inspector Hank Cooper. Will he take her seriously or just get in her way?

As the danger mounts and Billie realizes how much is at stake, it becomes clear that although the war was won, it is far from over.

About the author

TARA MOSS is an internationally bestselling author, human rights activist, documentary and podcast host, and model. Her crime novels have been published in nineteen countries and thirteen languages, and her memoir, The Fictional Woman, was a #1 international bestseller. Her most recent novel is The War Widow, the first in the Billie Walker mystery series. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she has received the Edna Ryan Award for significant contributions to feminist debate and for speaking out on behalf of women and children. In 2017, Tara Moss was recognized as one of the Global Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life. In 2021, she hosted the Audible Original true-crime podcast The Man in the Balaclava. Tara Moss lives in Vancouver with her family.

Tara Moss' profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Moss explores important historical events and dark issues with contemporary references… The War Widow is a fast-paced beach read.”

Winnipeg Free Press

"Immersive, well-paced, entertaining, thoughtful -- so enjoyable!"

Angela Meyer, award-winning author of <em>A Superior Spectre</em>

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

<em>Publishers Weekly</em>

"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. . . . Honestly, I'd follow Billie anywhere." 

Halley Sutton, author of <em>The Lady Upstairs</em>

"Retro noir with a gutsy heroine and atmospheric setting. . . vivid, page-turning historical crime."

<em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>

"Her novels are completely gripping and entertaining from beginning to end."

Hugh Jackman

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

Joanne Harris, award-winning author of <em>Chocolat</em>

“The setting feels simultaneously familiar and exotic. Neatly incorporates history, social commentary, and a satisfying mystery in one appealing package. More, please!” 

<em>Kirkus Reviews</em>


"Enough page-turning suspense to keep you up reading far later than you intended!"

Peter James

"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." 

<em>The Sun-Herald</em>

“Australian-Canadian multitasker Tara Moss adds another feather to her crime-novelist cap with this multi-faceted foray into postwar noir.”


"A brilliant writer." 

Lynda La Plante

"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."

Ellen Keith, bestselling author of <em>The Dutch Wife</em>

“Brilliantly atmospheric and completely immersive—this stylishly fierce adventure Into post-war darkness will hold you captive on every page. The amazing Tara Moss has created a cinematic and important feminist noir—dark as midnight velvet, and tough as steel. Do not miss this!”  

Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author of <em>The First to Lie</em>

“Tara Moss has created another excellent piece of crime fiction with The War Widow.” 

<em>The Ormsby Review</em>

Other titles by Tara Moss

Related lists