cover image Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante: A Maggie Hope Mystery

Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante: A Maggie Hope Mystery

Susan Elia MacNeal. Bantam, $15 ISBN 978-0-8041-7870-9

MacNeal’s enthralling fifth Maggie Hope mystery (after The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent) takes the American-born British spy to Washington, D.C., in the company of Winston Churchill, posing as his typist, for a meeting with F.D.R. just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When Eleanor Roosevelt’s temporary secretary, Blanche Balfour, fails to show up for work, Maggie winds up accompanying the First Lady to Blanche’s apartment, where they discover her body and a note implicating Eleanor Roosevelt herself as the reason for her (apparent) suicide. Not only does Maggie try to prevent a scandal that has implications for the presidency and the war, she also assists in the First Lady’s efforts to help Wendell Cotton, a poor African-American sentenced to die by an all-white Virginia jury. While Maggie is the star, MacNeal gives ample space to the political maneuverings of Roosevelt and Churchill. Cameo appearances by such historical figures as Martha Gellhorn, C.S. Forester, and Walt Disney add to the fun. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg Literary. (Nov.)