This is Eleanor Roosevelt's ninth appearance as the fictional sleuth created by the former first lady's recently deceased novelist son. Here the author of Murder in the Blue Room takes Eleanor away from the White House and environs, surrounding her with first-class accommodations--and classy but suspicious characters--aboard the luxury liner Normandie. When a shady Russian envoy traveling to the U.S. is murdered and a stash of jewels owned by White Russians is missing, Eleanor must assess the motives of privileged passengers, including a Russian ballerina emigree, and such real-life characters as Charles Lindbergh, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Benny, Henry Luce, Josephine Baker and a young John F. Kennedy. It's all great fun enlivened by sophisticated dialogue and a splash of a conclusion, even though the celebrity characters other than the sleuth could benefit by portraits of greater depth. Eleanor makes a believable detective and the 1938 prewar atmosphere lends a nice touch of tension to a shipshape plot. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991 Release date: 04/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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