An explosion and fire in a summer cottage. A slippery car chase over country roads during an unexpected blizzard. Explosions. Magic. A deadly knife. Deceit. Prowling U-boats. Thievery. Murder. So, this is the life of the stamp collector? Perceptions of the hobby are turned upside down in 'Chasing Jenny: A Philatelic Mystery,' a history-based mystery novel that revolves around a world-famous stamp stolen in 1955 from a stamp show in Norfolk, Va. (Today, the theft remains unsolved.) The stamp, an error, depicts an upside-down airplane, known popularly as the 'Jenny.' The novel includes the story of our nation's first airmail flight; a tense WWII convoy across the Atlantic; and a taste of the 1950s. Most of the story is set in contemporary Upstate New York, in the Rust Belt city of Syracuse, N.Y., and the bucolic southeastern shore of Lake Ontario. 'There isn't a collector in the world who wouldn't want one,' exclaims central character Miles of the iconic invert known the world over. Miles, an affable former newspaper reporter who now spends some time helping a stamp dealer, is recruited by Lizzy Smith. Lizzy regularly travels to Syracuse to visit her aging and sometimes frail-minded father, a WWII veteran of the Navy. When Ted Smith mentions the inverted Jenny to his daughter, she seeks out help - and finds Miles - at a national stamp show being held in Syracuse. Miles likes Lizzy's smile and quickly signs on to help her find what could be a true treasure. Trouble is, they aren't the only ones looking for the iconic stamp. Some may even be willing to kill for it. The stamp is coveted by many, but in the end, who will possess the tiny rarity? Author Jeff Stage has been writing creatively and collecting stamps since he was a child. His professional career was spent working as an award-winning reporter, columnist and editor for the Herald-Journal and Post-Standard newspapers in Syracuse, N.Y., where he resides. This is his first novel, but he hopes to bring Miles back for more in a series he's calling The Philatelic Mysteries.
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