Published posthumously, this is the ninth in a series celebrating the sleuthing skills of the author's mother Eleanor. It's 1938-the immediate threat of war has temporarily abated after Britain and France bow to Hitler's demands. Mrs. Roosevelt is returning to the US on the liner Normandie after a brief vacation. Also aboard are young John Kennedy, Jack Benny with wife Mary, Henry Luce of the Time empire, Charles Lindbergh, Josephine Baker, and Russian Ambassador Troyanoskii, accompanied by tiny ballerina Nina Rozanov. During an after-dinner party the first night out, the ambassador is fatally poisoned, by strychnine in his vodka, and the ship's security officer Edouard Ouzoulias is only too glad to have Mrs. Roosevelt assist in his investigation. As days go by, there's plenty more to investigate- theft of a fortune in jewels from the ship's safe; another death- -this one by stabbing; a shot that just misses Nina' the peculiar behavior of German wife broker Remer; rehashing the injustices of the Bolshevik Revolution, still fresh in many minds; and who is or isn't in the Stalinist secret service. It's all wrapped up in the five days needed to cross the Atlantic--in a crisp, lively and modestly compelling story: the author's best.