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Murder at Midnight: An Eleanor Roosevelt Mystery Hardcover – May 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; First Edition edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568653581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568653587
  • ASIN: 0312155964
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Working from the seemingly bottomless pile of unpublished manuscripts Roosevelt left behind when he died, St. Martin's offers a worthy addition to the Eleanor Roosevelt series, sprightlier (and sexier) than many of the earlier installments. Braintruster Horace Blackwell came to Washington with FDR in 1933, living in a guest room across the hall from Roosevelt's suite. Just months later, his naked, repeatedly stabbed body is found there by an African American White House maid--whom the prim Secret Service man and blowsy D.C. cop in charge of the case quickly nab for murder. The First Lady demands a further (though low-profile) investigation, which reveals Blackwell as a scoundrel and sadist. Readers whose sexual tolerance stops at the missionary position may pass, but most will find Murder at Midnight an intricately plotted, entertaining read, full of the series' offhand insights into New Deal history and vivid glimpses of 1930s celebrities. Mary Carroll

From Kirkus Reviews

Another of Roosevelt's posthumous stories (Murder in the Chateau, 1996, etc.)--this one set in the early days of FDR's first term, when a so-called Brain Trust was helping the President's efforts to solve the country's crucial problems. One of that esteemed group is Judge Horace Blackwell from New York. He has been a guest in a second-floor bedroom of the White House for several weeks when he's found, late one night, stabbed to death. Sara Carter, the young black maid who discovers the body, is promptly arrested by Secret Service agent Lawrence Pickering, despite the protestations of Eleanor Roosevelt, who declares herself an unofficial member of the investigating team. Blackwell, it soon appears, was a charismatic, sadistic rou‚, with a string of high- and low-placed sex partners. He also had some bitter enemies among the big-time mobsters back in New York. A couple of mob henchmen have now surfaced in Washington, for what purpose Pickering can't fathom, until the night Achille ``Chickie'' Pepino is found shot to death in a White House corridor. Confusion reigns until Eleanor gets the help of an expert to verify her suspicion of the killer's identity and proves to be right on target. All of this plays out side by side with glimpses of world and national events and the ongoing business of the presidency, lending piquancy and historical interest to a well-honed plot. One of the best in the series. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
In 1933, Judge Horace Blackwell, friend and personal advisor to the
president, is found murdered in the White House. Police make a quick arrest
since the evidence points towards a black housekeeper Sara Carter, who swears
she is innocent. The First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, believes that Sara is
telling the truth and decides to investigate.
...... Eleanor quickly learns that Horace was not the squeaky clean judge that
his image portrayed. Instead, he was a vicious womanizer. Several people
surface who had legitimate gripes and grudges with the Judge. However,
things turns nasty when a second murder occurs, making everyone wonder how
safe is Franklin in the White House? Eleanor plans to insure her spouse's
safety by uncovering the identity of the killer even if it places her won
life at risk.
...... The entire Eleanor Roosevelt mystery novels (sixteen in all) are a lot of
fun to read. Though the who-done-its are well designed, it is the presence
of famous historical figures including such notables as Gertrude Stein, James
Thurber, and Babe Ruth, etc. that brings the Depression Era DC into a lively
perspective. Elliott Roosevelt, who died several years ago, has written a
fabulous mystery that posthumously should garner him new fans.

......Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George Webster, Ph.D., VINE VOICE on July 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt, new President of the United States, brought a "Brain Trust" of eminent people to Washington to find ways to end the Great Depression that was destroying the nation. Judge Horace Carter, a member of the Brain Trust, is murdered in the White House. Police arrest a maid, but Eleanor Roosevelt doubts her guilt. Investigation reveals that Judge Blackwell was a sexual sadist, with many people wishing him dead. But using the discarded Bertillon method of identification, Eleanor Roosevelt finds the murderer. It is a racier and faster-moving tale than many in this series, but it still gives us a window to view that long-ago time and its people. If you would like a fascinating mystery that gives you a thoroughly enjoyable insight into the early 1930's, this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By THE2BOOKIES on October 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
EVEN THOUGH THIS STORY WAS "LIGHT" READING, I ALWAYS FIND ELLIOT ROOSEVELT'S WRITING ENTERTAINING WITH ENOUGH INTRIGUE TO MAKE THE BEDTIME RITUAL OF READING PLEASANT. THE TOUCHES OF HISTORY MAKE IT ALL THE MORE FUN.
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