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.
Eleanor Roosevelt is on is on a luxury liner when the Russian ambassador dies and suspicion focuses on his traveling companion, a ballerina. Eleanor helps solve the mystery
With horns blasting and crowds cheering the great luxury liner Normandie steams out into the Atlantic, her elegant staterooms graced by the rich and famous of the world, including America's First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. But the trip takes a deadly turn when the Russian ambassador dies and suspiciion focuses on his beautiful young traveling companion, a Russian ballerina. From the Grand Salon to the Grill Room, everyone's a suspect until Eleanor can separate a lover's spat from something more diabolical. So with an assist from the handsome young son of the US Amabassador to the Court of St. James, John F. Kennedy, the First Lady takes on another case.
History blended with mystery.
See review for "Murder in the Rose Garden" by the same author.