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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
This is a wonderful book written by the late ELLIOT ROOSEVELT. I started reading the hardback books just a few years before ELLIOT died and have loved everyone and wished there could have been many more. Once you fall in love with Eleanor, you want more and more about her interesting life.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT becomes a very smart lady that could very easily be your friend. Even though these books are fiction, you will be surprised to discover just how many plots contain true facts, such as the MOB'S help during WWII on the shipping docks and during the invasion of Sicily and of course the WINSTON HOURS.
What does Nelson Runger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Another point of view and interpretation of the story.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I love the whole book.
Any additional comments?
PLEASE bring all the ELEANOR ROOSEVELT MYSTERIES to audible.com!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Elliott Roosevelt wrote a series of mystery books with his mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, as the chief protagonist, and The White House Pantry Murder is the only one available to date on Audible. It is Christmas 1941, three weeks after the start of the Second World War, and Winston Churchill is about to visit Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House to make plans for winning the war. The day after the Brits arrive, a kitchen maid comes screaming because she has just found a body in the refrigerator. He has been killed with a ice pick in the back of the head. DiConccini, one of the top secret service agents, takes with him British Lieutenant Commander Leach on a secret mission to prove that it would be possible for someone to infiltrate the White House grounds through the storm drains, where they find a German gun wiped clean of fingerprints but with prints of the dead man on the ammunition. When further surveillance discovers grenades in the storm drain, they realize just how serious the case truly is.
The book continues with exciting intrigue, as they find more bodies in the White House, and a secretary appears to be not whom she says she is. Mrs. Roosevelt becomes instrumental in finding the conclusions to many of their questions. But can they figure out everything before it becomes too late?
The White House Pantry Murder was an enjoyable book. I especially liked getting to see the scenes of the East Wing of the White House from the perspective of someone who lived there, especially just before Harry S Truman completed a thorough renovation between 1949 and 1952 when they found that the whole building was sinking, and the walls were separating. In addition, the second floor was starting to collapse, a fact that became especially obvious when a leg of Margaret Truman's piano fell through the second floor. In this book, we see the limited facilities the family actually had access to, having to use their own personal furniture. We see the telephones used there and the methods used to tap the telephones. Further, we observe the "White House telegraph system" that alerts the servants of summons to other places in the house.
One of the Amazon reviewers complained that the book is too dated and certainly not politically correct according to today's standards. But we have to keep in mind that this book is not from today. Though published in 1987, it is set in 1941, reflecting the thoughts and behavior of the day. We do see some racism against African Americans, but the African American butler Henry is treated with respect, no matter his race. Further, we see Eleanor Roosevelt standing up for African American soldiers by insisting that soldiers of all races and classes be allowed into the nursing homes the upper class ladies are setting up in advance of the need as casualties arise. Don't let the term "Negro" make you think she is being racist, as this term was not a racial slur then (think of the National Association for the Advancement of Negro People). We also see the Nazi leader use racial epithets, mostly against Jews, but this just serves to create the setting of the extreme racism of the Nazi threat.
Nelson Runger performs the audio version of The White House Pantry Murder, and he does a good job of helping to set the mood of the book. His voice seems to portray the earliest days of the war with the gravitas of the era as they all anticipate the casualties of war. Eleanor makes a point at one point that her own sons have signed up to join the war effort and that the statistics show that she stands the risk of losing at least one of them. Rungers's narration makes this concern seem realistic, as the whole book illustrates the urgency of trying to locate the spy who seems to have infiltrated the White House while showing real people in the process.
I really liked listening to The White House Pantry Murder. The characters came across as realistic, especially that of Winston Churchill, who liked to do his work from his bathtub and loved his scotch and cigars. Churchill's work from his bathtub is legendary, and the work from it brought the book to life. I appreciated the twists in the book and the angles used. Since no more books are available on Audible or CD, I went ahead and ordered the one other book I could find on cassette, something I almost never do. But I see great promise. I give this book four stars.