cover image Murder in the Chateau: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery

Murder in the Chateau: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery

Elliott Roosevelt / Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN

Although Elliott Roosevelt, son of Franklin and Eleanor, has passed away, his Eleanor Roosevelt mysteries continue posthumously--thanks, according to the publisher, to a legacy of several unpublished manuscripts. The newest release (after Murder in the Executive Mansion, 1995) features Eleanor in a secret mission during the early part of WWII. It's 1941, before Pearl Harbor. France has been occupied by the Nazis and President Roosevelt arranges for his wife to represent him at a clandestine conference involving several internationally known figures, including some high-ranking German officers, who are plotting to kill Hitler and end the war. Accompanying Eleanor to the Chateau Montrond in the French countryside are the intense Victoria Klein, a resistance fighter traveling as her maid, and Kevin O'Neil, an Irish mercenary. Their hostess, Vivienne Duval, introduces them to General Rommel and Colonel Artur Brandt, a Hitler aide, among others, but the conference is barely underway when Brandt is found murdered. With almost everyone a suspect, Eleanor is doubly challenged when a second body is discovered. The solution is almost secondary to the secret meeting itself. A surprise visit by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas provides an interesting twist to the quickly moving plot. Only the occasionally stilted conversation wrinkles the surface of this satisfying package. (June)