cover image Murder in the Lincoln Be

Murder in the Lincoln Be

Elliott Roosevelt / Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (224p) ISBN 9

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undemanding offering attributed to her late son Elliott, who according to St. Martin's left behind a number of unpublished manuscripts when he died.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.)