THE STRENUOUS LIFE by Lawrence Alexander


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This third of Alexander's Teddy Roosevelt mysteries (The Big Stick, Speak Softly) pits TR (as NY Police Commissioner) against the thieves who marched into the 71st Armory and marched out with an enormous cache of weapons--""enough to equip a battalion for a month of combat."" Any hope that Roosevelt's embarrassing personal stake in the case--a possible informant on the gang, Frank Stratton, is an old beau of his wife's--might have a brighter side is dashed when a trip to the Polo Grounds, where the materiel is supposedly stashed, reveals Stratton brutally killed. Have the arms been shifted somewhere else in New York for quick sale? Are they on their way to an Apache uprising in Oklahoma? Have TR and his unexpected ally Geronimo (who of course both high-tail it out west) been fooled by a plot to drive the Apache off oil-rich land eyed greedily by John D. Rockefeller? Or have the weapons really been hijacked by Roosevelt's old rival the Marquis de Morès for the French campaign in Morocco? And who really killed Frank Stratton, anyway? These questions, which might have made for an interesting mystery, are swamped by graceless exposition (""There was a questioning look on the face of the former Edith Kermit Carow as the conveyance turned south on Central Park West"") and cameos by irrelevant historical figures from William S. Burroughs to George Washington Carver, as Alexander drops names with all the frenetic glibness of a starlet on the The Tonight Show.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1990
Publisher: Knightsbridge (10513 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064)