Title: Spy on a Little Black Dress
Author: Maxine Kenneth
Review: Spy in a Little Black Dress is a fun take on history. Jacqueline Bouvier at the age of 21 wrote a letter that is now in the Kennedy Library and it mentions that she was unable to accept a job offer with Vogue because she had already accepted a job with the newly formed CIA. From this letter Maxine Kenneth has created a spy adventure novel that has Jackie Kennedy as the star. The book creates a tale of what could have happened to Jackie Bouvier while she was working for the CIA and before marrying the handsome Senator Jack Kennedy. The book is delightful with its different twist and turns and when she meets up with Jack Kennedy, in the most unlikely places.
The author takes a little known piece of history and creates a world of international espionage using one of the most famous first ladies of our time. It’s a very cute and fun tale with moments of that could have happened and while reading the book I found myself giggling knowing I would have made the same mistakes she made on her second assignment working for the CIA.
Spy in a little black dress is the second book and second assignment for Jackie Bouvier. She is assigned to go to The Havana Cuba and meet with a revolutionary solider name Fidel Castro. Before she is even able to meet with Castro she is being chased by East Germans because of a treasure map she is looking into.
In Washington DC Jackie meets up with a young actress Grace Kelly who helps her out of a tight squeeze with the East Germans Jackie has labeled as the three stooges. Once Jackie arrives in Cuba she is kidnapped by the same men and almost feed to some nasty alligators, but it is only her quick thinking and her endless training that keeps Jackie from becoming dinner. All the while Jackie has many dress changes one more beautiful than the next.
While in Cuba she is assigned to meet Castro but when the first meeting doesn't go to plan Jackie soon finds herself dancing with Frank Sinatra and almost runs into Jack Kennedy, all in a small country that is ready to rebel against the tyrant governor of the land.
The author keeps the story light and fun with adding bits of history in with all the fiction. The endless twist and turns make for a fun pool side read but in the end the book had me wishing I didn't know so much about this time in history and only wish the story Spy in a Little Black Dress was the true story of Jackie Kennedy.
I would love to know what she did when she worked for the CIA. Was she an agent or a secretary? I guess that part of history we will never know the truth.
This book is a clean read and something I would allow my teenager to read.
Thank Heidi for this review.
Publisher: Published October 2nd 2012 by Grand CentralPublishing
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: Inspired by an actual letter in the John F. Kennedy Library written by Jackie and revealing her job offer from the newly formed CIA
When young Jackie Bouvier receives her second assignment from the CIA, she knows it will go better than her first. She managed to survive the Paris job-while looking her best in Givenchy, no less-but now she's completed her official CIA training. So she's excited to show her boss exactly what she can do for her country.
Her new mission: Go undercover in sultry Havana and investigate a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro. But before Jackie can infiltrate the communist cabal, she's in past her hemline in danger. In another exciting adventure, she colludes with Grace Kelly, dances with Frank Sinatra, and flirts with an up-and-coming congressman from Massachusetts.
As the international intrigue escalates, Jackie must use all her finely honed skills to stay ahead of her enemies . . . and make sure spying never goes out of fashion.
Author Biography: Maxine Kenneth is the writing team of Maxine Schnall and Ken Salikof
I am an award-winning screenwriter (for Ernest Hemingway Slept Here) turned novelist. I am also a special contributor to the New York Daily News, write book reviews and articles for Publishers Weekly, am a judge for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, and have worked as a studio reader, manuscript editor for bestselling authors and screenwriting consultant. Along with a collaborator, I have embarked on a series of novels about the young Jackie Bouvier, long before she was Mrs. JFK and the First Lady of the Country. Based on a 1951 letter in the JFK Library revealing her possible employment with the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency, I have imagined Jackie as a neophyte CIA agent in the early fifties, having glamorous, dangerous adventures in Paris, Havana and other exciting locations. The next book in the series, Spy in a Little Black Dress will be published by Grand Central Publishing on October 2nd (with a really spectacular cover), and the first one, Paris to Die For, can still be found on bookstore shelves. Both, of course, are available as ebooks. The novels have been an absolute joy to write and I hope the reader will have a similar experience reading about Jackie at a pivotal but little written about moment in her life.
I started writing back in the 60s with my first book, MY HUSBAND THE DOCTOR, chronicling the funny side of being married to an ob-gyn. Next came THE BROADBELTERS, my racy novel about the soft porn book biz, optioned for films by Stanley Kubrick. After my marriage broke up and I founded a hotline called Wives Self Help, my book based on the hotline calls, YOUR MARRIAGE, was published. Excerpts printed in Woman's Day led to my becoming a contributing editor with the magazine and the host of my own CBS daily radio show. In 1982, Clarkson Potter published my book LIMITS: A SEARCH FOR NEW VALUES, a study of the cultural effects of the sexual revolution, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After I remarried, my book, EVERY WOMAN CAN BE ADORED established my reputation as a relationship guru and led to six appearances on Oprah. In 1985, my younger daughter Rona, a beautiful, gifted, award-winning journalist was seriously brain-injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Her courageous battle to reestablish her life after this tragedy and hundreds of stories of other people who came back from losses large and small inspired my book WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER (Perseus, 2002; United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, Korea, and Lebanon).
After answering Ken Salikof's ad in Craig's List seeking a collaborator, I teamed up with him to write PARIS TO DIE FOR, the first in a series of spy novels with Jackie Kennedy as an unofficial CIA agent. The idea was inspired by an authentic letter written by 21-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier in the JFK Library stating that the CIA had offered her a job and she was going to take it. From there, our imaginations were off and running--and so was a whole new Jackie to 1950s Paris for an adventure filled with death-defying exploits, foreign intrigue, romance, and hobnobbing with famous celebrities. Grand Central published the book on July 28, Jackie's birthday. HAVANA TO DIE FOR is slated for 2012.