St. Martin's, Dec 2001, 23.95, 240 pp.
When President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor moved into the White House, it was a shabby place to live. The furniture and curtains were old with most needing replacement, but with the country deep into the Depression, Congress refuses to authorize funds to redecorate the President's home. Thus the Roosevelts do the best they can with what they have.
While the President is a movie with an aide, someone tries to assassinate him, but kills a police officer instead. The First lady theorizes that the killer ran away when he heard voices in her husband's bedroom, not realizing that the sound came from the movie. Obviously, White House security is lax and anyone who knows the layout of the place can easily enter and leave without detection. Eleanor, DC police Lieutenant Edward Kennelly, and the White House police join forces to ferret out the identity of the perpetrators.
MURDER AT THE PRESIDENT'S DOOR is the latest Eleanor Roosevelt mystery in this long running series that provides a fascinating look at the 1930s White House. In this age of terrorism and Pennsylvania Avenue cordoned off it is difficult to fathom the Presidential home lacking security measures, and containing broken down furniture and torn curtains. Though the who-done-it is short on action, history buffs will enjoy the late Elliot Roosevelt's latest homage to his parents early years in the White House.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner