Wednesday, June 6, 2018

ARC Review: The Body in the Ballroom by R. J. Koreto

The Body in the Ballroom
Author: R. J. Koreto
Series: An Alice Roosevelt Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)

Description: President Teddy Roosevelt’s daring daughter, Alice, leaps into action to exonerate a friend accused of poisoning a man just about everyone hated.

Alice Roosevelt, the brilliant, danger-loving daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, has already risked an assassin’s bullet to solve one murder. She never expected to have to sleuth another, but she’d never pass up the opportunity, either. Anything to stave off boredom.

And such an opportunity presents itself when Alice is invited to a lavish ball. The high-society guests are in high spirits as they imbibe the finest wines. But one man, detested by nearly all the partygoers, quaffs a decidedly deadlier cocktail. An African-American mechanic, who also happens to be a good friend of former Rough Rider-turned-Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, is suspected of the murder-by-poison, but Alice is sure he’s innocent and is back on the scene to clear his name.

From downtown betting parlors to uptown mansions, Alice and Agent St. Clair uncover forbidden romances and a financial deal that just might change the world. But neither Alice nor her would-be protector may survive the case at hand in The Body in the Ballroom, R. J. Koreto's gripping second Alice Roosevelt mystery.

My Thoughts: Alice Roosevelt and her Secret Service bodyguard Joseph St. Clair are on the case again when Alice witnesses a murder at a swanky social event. Lynley Brackton has a glass of the Rutledge's infamous punch and then dies. Alice doesn't really get involved until the New York police arrest the mechanic who worked on his car and who works on the Roosevelt cars too. Peter Carlyle is a black man.

Alice knows that the murderer has to be a member of the highest society and that the police aren't able to investigate there. It is up to her and St. Clair to see that justice is done. As Alice pays condolence calls on affected members she finds a tangled mess of personal relations and business connections. Then there is a second victim of the same poison. The much younger wife of a reclusive businessman also dies. She was at the same party as Alice and standing with the Brackton and his wife.  Then Brackton's wife is sent the same poison but doesn't drink it since she's been warned.

As Alice investigates, she sees the growing tensions between the various ethnic groups coming to New York in the early 20th Century. Between the Irish and Italian gangs, the Jewish immigrants, and the blacks, New York is a hotbed of change. Old New Yorkers represented by a club they have formed are against all the changes. For a while it looks like the murders were related to the club membership.

I really enjoy the historical setting of this mystery. I am also a big fan of Alice Roosevelt who at eighteen is brave, bold, and more than a little outrageous. St. Clair has his hands full trying to keep Alice safe and is also a great guide and companion for her.

I can't wait for Alice and St. Clair's next case. Fans of historical mysteries will be very pleased with this wonderful story.

Favorite Quote:
Alice stopped and looked at me with surprise. "Mr. St. Clair, how philosophical. I didn't know you had it in you. Aunt Anna is right about you. She says you're really quite smart, but you pretend to be slow so no one expects too much from you."

Again, I laughed. "If I think about that enough, I'm sure I'll find a compliment in there somewhere."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review--I always like your "favorite quote" selections especially!


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