Yes, it's President Teddy Roosevelt as fictional sleuth--a strained gimmick that's given uninspired treatment here by...

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BULLY!

Yes, it's President Teddy Roosevelt as fictional sleuth--a strained gimmick that's given uninspired treatment here by novelist Schorr, author of the laboriously fanciful Red Diamond, Private Eye series. Playing Watson-narrator to Teddy's Holmes is Jim White, an old pal from TR's cowboy/Rough-Rider days--who answers a 1903 summons from the distressed Prez. The problem? There seems to be a secret conspiracy against TR simmering: he's already been the victim of an attempted scandal frame-up! So Jim and TR (in disguise) go investigating--among Brooklyn hookers, Tammany politicos, and Washington radicals--to figure out who's behind the evil machinations, which soon include assassination attempts. And before the assorted traitors (in Congress, big business, etc.) are unmasked, Jim and TR will idiotically walk into a near-fatal trap, leaving them at the mercy of mad, racist terrorists. Apparently aware of the flimsiness of this contrived tale, Schorr works hard to fill out the proceedings with miscellaneous side-shows: a sit-com romance for White and the Roosevelts' tart maid; cutesy run-ins with the Roosevelt kids, especially the notorious Alice; cameo appearances by everyone from J.P. Morgan to Carrie Nation; and clumsy attempts to cram in every famous TR anecdote, every dull bit of over-simplified history. (""I happened to be in the Cabinet Room with Secretary of State John Hay and Secretary of War Elihu Root when TR decided to send ships to South America, creating what was called the Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine."") TR himself, however, remains a noble/hearty cardboard cut-out throughout--and this is a feeble, corny ""faction""overall: too superficial to engage most TR buffs, too flat and thin to interest most others.

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985