Mrs. Odboddy’s Life During WWII—and a Giveaway!

Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband and multiple feline companions. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Northern California Publishers and Authors. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop. She enjoys speaking on author panels, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies. She has published seven books.

Black Cat’s Legacy, With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, Thumper helps pursue a cold case murder.

Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, Thumper accompanies his family to a Texas horse ranch where they confront wild horses, embezzling, false identities and attempted murder.

Black Cat and the Accidental Angel, Black Cat and his companion are left behind following an MVA. Taken in by a family facing personal and financial disaster, Black Cat and Angel encounter disaster and a spiritual awakening.

Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot, Eccentric Mrs. Odboddy believes there are Nazi spies and conspiracies on every hand.

Mrs. Odboddy-Undercover Courier, Mr. O carries a package by train to President Roosevelt that she presumes contains secret war documents. She is equally sure Nazi spies are after her package and will to anything to deliver the package to the president.

Mrs. Odboddy-And Then There was a Tiger, Falsely accused of various crimes, Agnes sets about to restore her reputation and the missing war bond money.

All Things Cat, Twenty-one short stories by Faber about cats, including cats, or written by the cat!

Learn more about Elaine’s writing at or contact her directly at

While researching my three WWII humorous mystery adventures, Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot (HTP), Mrs. Odboddy-Undercover Courier (UCC), and the latest, Mrs. Odboddy-And Then There was a Tiger (ATTWAT), I learned many interesting facts about everyday life in the USA during World War II:

Rationing: Because supplies were limited due to the needs of the troops, ration stamp booklets were issued to American housewives. Many items in short supply; meat, sugar and fresh fruit required the appropriate ration stamp at purchase. Such shortages led to black market ration books or ‘arrangements’ between friends willing to sell unneeded stamps. (In HTP, Mrs. Odboddy pursues a ration book conspiracy theory that gets her into a heap of trouble.)

During part of 1942-43, Brazilian ships bringing coffee and sugar to the USA were blockaded. Thus, coffee was rationed to one pound per adult every six weeks. (Mrs. Odboddy thought this, alone, was reason to go to war and greatly lamented a restriction on her coffee.)

Eggs were in short supply and costly, resulting in many resident chickens in suburban backyards. (In HTP, Mrs. Odboddy took in five displaced hens, but, my, how the feathers flew when they turned out to be roosters!)

Victory Gardens: Citizens were considered unpatriotic if they didn’t plant a victory garden. Suburban front yards were often converted to rows of cabbages, zucchinis, tomatoes and carrots. High yield vegetables requiring limited growing space became the main ingredient of Meatless Monday meals. Even Mrs. Roosevelt planted zucchini in the White House rose garden. (Mrs. Odboddy and Mrs. Roosevelt meet and become friends throughout the series.)

Watch Towers: Ever fearful of another Japanese air attack on the West Coast, and the limited newly invented radar technology, watch towers were placed every several miles along the California and Oregon coastline. This required many volunteer man-hours. (HTP Mrs. Odboddy is on hand when a Japanese air balloon finds its way to the Northern California coastline. As the balloon bombs were a national secret, Agnes takes the blame for the watch tower burning down.)

Train Travel: There were no trains traveling directly across the USA without multiple hours or days layovers or changing trains. In UCC, Agnes and Katherine carry a package to the President. She believes it contains secret war documents and fully expects to encounter a Nazi spy who will try to steal her package. What do you think happens?

Entertainment: Movies, picnics, and dances were popular social outlets for young people. County fair and church socials were popular. (In ATTWAT, Agnes hosts a pumpkin carving booth, discovers a local man assaulted, is suspected of passing counterfeit money, and meets Shere Khan, the performing tiger, who plays a major role in the story’s plot.)

About Mrs. Odboddy-And then there was a Tiger

While the ‘tiger of war’ rages across the Pacific during WWII, eccentric, elderly Agnes Odboddy’s patriotic duties are interrupted when she finds a rat-filled shoebox on her porch, her home is trashed, and she becomes the prime suspect in the Wilkey’s Market burglary.

A traveling carnival with a live tiger joins the parishioners’ Harvest Fair at The First Church of the Evening Star and Everlasting Light. When counterfeit bills are discovered at the carnival, and the war bond money goes missing, Agnes’s attempts to restore her reputation and locate the money lead her into harm’s way. Then she stumbles upon a friend’s betrayal and discovers even more about carnival life than she bargained for. Join Mrs. Odboddy on her hysterical romp through pumpkins, war bonds, counterfeit money and tigers. Filled with laughter and suspense, you will enjoy a bit of history along the way.


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