MURDER IN THE BLUE ROOM by Elliott Roosevelt


Email this review


Another of the author's lumpy brews of fact and fiction (Murder in the Rose Garden, etc.). This one starts with the bludgeoning murder of Emily Ryan, a secretary from Steve Early's PR office in the West Wing of the White House. Her body is discovered in the Blue Room, while President Roosevelt meets nearby with Foreign Minister Molotov and armed forces top brass. It's 1942, and the war is not going well. Emily, attractive and on the make, had intimate relationships with many men--among them naval Lieutenant Donald Pettengill, assigned to the White House; Roosevelt-bashing radio-commentator Marv Ritchey, and a couple of real-life, long-dead men of prominence. As Mrs. Roosevelt indulges her bent for detection, with help from D.C. police captain Kennelly and Secret Service agent Deconcini, the case is complicated by the murder of Emily's roommate, Peggy Shearson, another forerunner of the sexual revolution, killed on her way home from a trendy local hangout. Mrs. R. solves her case, of course, aided by several convenient clues and a Christie-like roundup of suspects. The sordid details of the killings mix uneasily with accounts of the President's tense tracking of the Pacific fleet, his meetings with foreign VIPs, and other facets of a wartime White House. An uncomfortable amalgam that's competently written, but only sporadically diverting.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's