cover image A Royal Murder: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery

A Royal Murder: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery

Elliott Roosevelt / Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (234p) IS

Affectionately portrayed, Eleanor Roosevelt outwits Nazis and other nefarious villains in her late son's 15th mystery to star his mother, one of many reported left unpublished at his death in 1990. In September 1940, Eleanor is sent to the Bahamas, accompanied by intelligence agents impersonating her staff, to protect U.S. interests against the pro-German leanings of the new governor, the Duke of Windsor and his wife, Wallis Simpson. Eleanor deftly avoids curtseying to the duke and duchess, instead giving each a democratic smile and a handshake and finessing the duke's wish that his wife be addressed as royalty. Life in Nassau resembles the last days of French royal court with a continuous round of parties occuring against a backdrop of dire poverty. During one lavish gathering on board a luxurious steam yacht, the owner, a pro-German Swedish industrialist, is thrown overboard to drown; in his pocket is found a platinum pin bearing the insignia of the Prince of Wales. Eleanor gets to ride a bike; Errol Flynn and one of his teenage floozies sail in on the yacht of isolationist GM chairman, Alfred P. Sloan; and a fatal explosion and a gunfight occur before the First Lady neatly wraps up the case. (Aug.)