Published posthumously, the latest Eleanor Roosevelt mystery penned by her son finds the first lady once again investigating a murder. Judge Horace Blackwell, friend and adviser to the president, is stabbed to death in his White House suite, and Sara Carter, a black maid, is arrested after finding the body. After promising the girl a fair hearing and gaining the confidence of lead investigator Lawrence Pickering, Eleanor takes an active role. Her doubts about Sara's guilt lead to some disturbing discoveries, not least of which is that the judge appears to have been a sadistic womanizer. Suspects include George McKibben, petty criminal with a grudge against Blackwell, hit man Chickie Pepino and several of the judge's lady friends, as well as his secretary, Barbara Higgins. A second murder in the White House calls into question the safety of President Roosevelt himself as the first lady perseveres to find the killer. Peopled with famous lights of 1933, including Babe Ruth, William Faulkner and Gertrude Stein, Washington, D.C., is bought to life in the mirror of the White House. There are few slow moments in this tale, which gathers to an Agatha Christie-like ending with all the suspects assembled to hear Eleanor's conclusion. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997 Release date: 05/01/1997 Genre: Fiction
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