Spy in a Little Black Dress
By Maxine Kenneth
Grand Central Publishing
Oct. 2, 2013
The writing team of Maxine Schnall and Kenneth Salikof (Maxine Kenneth) penned a second Jacqueline Bouvier novel. “Paris to Die For” introduced a fictional twist about a beloved First Lady being a spy for the CIA.
You gotta love someone not afraid to create a whole new side of a highly respected American icon. Even though you have to suspend your belief for this novel, Jackie could never run wearing designer shoes nor would she be able to stay out of the path of a spy’s bullet.
Though, the story is very interesting with the assimilation of real celebrities and history. It begins when Jackie is assigned to motivate Jack Kennedy into understanding the significance of the CIA. Those with high standing in the agency recognize his political elevation and know they’ll have to deal with him down the road. Add to her assignment: learning what kind of man Fidel Castro is, his power over his people, and the course he feels he is destined to achieve.
Then there’s a third element, as if Jackie didn’t have enough to handle. She purchases a book on Cuba only to learn that it has pages of a historic diary in it. And because nothing seems to remain a secret when Jackie is concerned, powerful people learn about it.
Upon arriving in Cuba, Jackie is presented a behind-the-scenes lesson on what life is like for the Cuban people and how Americans are experiencing luxury at the expense of the poor. Danger always appears to be around every corner.
The book has to be read slowly. There’s a lot of history and people that that you’re going to recognize cleverly involved. Their personalities, attitudes and lifestyles have to be observed one page at a time. The book is loaded with suspense, crime, fashion and the struggle to survive when you’re fighting for what you believe in. It wasn’t something I would have naturally chosen. I’m more of a romance or cozy mystery reader. But I’m glad I read it for it made me see the reality of Cuba, which seems to be a topic never discussed.
Four and a half spies out of five