Rating: Very Good
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.
Genre: Mystery - Historical
Why I Picked This Book: I enjoyed a book in another series by Koreto and Alice Roosevelt is such a fascinating person.
My Impression: I can't think of a more perfect historical figure to be an amateur detective than Alice Roosevelt. While I don't know that she was ever involved in a murder investigation I feel if she wasn't it was circumstance than desire. Having the POV told through her body guard Secret Service Agent and former Rough Rider, Joseph St. Clair added a bit of maturity, balance, and humor to Alice's more impulsive hard headed nature. St. Clair's obvious fondness for Alice tempers his exasperation at her never quite sticking to script and I found the sympathy he received from others for his job pretty funny.
Alice is so sure of herself and doesn't hesitate to barrel into a situation without necessarily knowing the full situation. She throws her status around as the President's daughter fairly regularly but is also fully conscious that her identity and her social status are tools she can use to get people to talk to her and never comes off as believing that she is above anyone. I liked that while most of the time she is so confident that every once in awhile little bits of softness or insecurity will show and there are times when she seems very very young.
The mystery was very well done and I found the avenues St. Clair and Alice pursued fascinating and I enjoyed the bits of history mixed in with a solid mystery. I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the final outcome. The Historical Note that Koreto added at the end of the book was very informative as to who the characters were based on and what was going on at the time of the investigation. I think I'll be looking for a biography on Alice herself as this book very much made me want to learn more about her.
If you're looking for an enjoyable fast paced historical mystery with a nice dash of history and a lot of fun than this is a must read!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would! This and the Lady Frances Ffolkes series are on my Must Read list.
Would I Recommend this Book? Definitely - especially if you enjoy historical mystery. This is the second in the series but I had no problem connecting with the characters and figuring out what was going on.