It is 1943 and upon the eve of the Trident Conference-a highly classified council attended by FDR, Winston Churchill, and Dwight Eisenhower with the purpose of planning an invasion of Western Europe-the White House is aflutter with preparations and the presence of extra Secret Service agents and soldiers. When a body is discovered in the Lincoln Bedroom while the conferees are still in session, Eleanor Roosevelt knows that in order to keep the murder (as well as the Conference) a secret from the prying eyes of the press, not to mention foreign agents, she must solve it herself.
Eleanor soon learns that the victim, Paul Weyrich, was a White House employee-one of the President's top advisors-who had been having an affair with his secretary. At first glance, it looks to be a crime of passion, instigated by Mr. Weyrich's refusal to marry his secretary. However, the deeper Eleanor digs into the case, the more clouded and uncertain the investigation becomes. Gradually, Eleanor discovers that the victim was part of a plot to assassinate the President, and she embarks on a daring plan to trap the assassin, using FDR as bait. Eleanor's skills will be put to the ultimate test as she must race to solve the mystery before the assassin strikes again.
As the intrepid and charming Mrs. Roosevelt engages in her latest bit of Hawkshawing, readers are treated to all the historical re-creation and rich storytelling that have become hallmarks of the series. This satisfying wartime whodunit starring America's First Lady of Mystery is a warmly rewarding look at a fascinating era, and at a woman beloved by her family and her country-Eleanor Roosevelt.
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Elliott Roosevelt (shown here with his wife, Patty), son of Franklin and Eleanor, was a former writer and rancher. He died in 1990 but left behind a number of unpublished manuscripts to be enjoyed by readers in the years to come.
Once again, Eleanor Roosevelt calmly juggles her official duties as First Lady with her unofficial role as amateur sleuth in this unpretentious, undemanding offering attributed to her late son Elliott, who according to St. Martin's left behind a number of unpublished manuscripts when he died. When lawyer Paul Weyrich, special White House counsel, turns up dead in the Lincoln Bedroom with an unauthorized gun in his suit jacket, Mrs. Roosevelt takes on the case, aided by old friend D.C. police captain Ed Kennelly. Since FDR is busy hosting the secret Trident Conference to plot the liberation of Europe with guests Prime Minister Churchill and General Eisenhower, it's vitally important that nothing disturb their deliberations. In between interviewing Weyrich's "Government Girl" girlfriend and other suspects, the First Lady mingles with such celebrities of the day as Danny Kaye and Jack Benny. In a sly touch, the author is himself the subject of a Hollywood tale told by Humphrey Bogart that reflects on the young man's discretion. ("Elliott has not invariably used good judgment," comments the First Lady.) While the villains behind the murder soon become obvious, the victim's method of smuggling a gun inside the executive mansion is quite ingenious. And if in the end the motivation for the murder is weak, it really doesn't matter, for it's the sympathetic portrayal of the people in the Roosevelt White House that ultimately counts in this unique series. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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