Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter uses guile and grit to clear an innocent man accused of murder.
While Alice Roosevelt is in New York, she’s in the charge of Secret Service agent Joseph St. Clair, who narrates in a peppy, slightly formal first person. Their history as sleuthing partners has some precedent (Alice and the Assassin, 2017), so St. Clair isn’t surprised when Alice steps forward to investigate the death of Lynley Brackton, who fell sick and died after drinking the punch at a coming-out party influential Simon Rutledge hosted in honor of his daughter, Philadelphia. Though a heart attack is listed as the cause of death, skeptical Alice, who was standing nearby at the time, believes it was murder. Her hunch is soon verified by law officer Capt. O’Hara, who requests her discretion. Alice has already learned that Brackton’s many enemies included Rutledge. The specious arrest of mechanic Peter Carlyle raises the ire of both Alice and St. Clair. After securing Carlyle’s temporary release, the duo begins to investigate in earnest. Blithe Philly is not as demure and self-involved as she first appeared, and her gossip gives Alice several leads about Brackton. The trail to a solution goes through Brackton’s widow, who may have been the killer’s real target. The relatives of another murder victim lead Alice to conclude that the crimes are related.
Koreto’s second Alice Roosevelt mystery manages to be accessible while conveying an authentic period feel. The two investigators are delightful, and the historical figures sprinkled throughout the tale never overwhelm the plot.