Spy in a Little Black Dress - Maxine Kenneth

Released October 2, 2012

Grand Central Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Spy in a Little Black Dress is the second novel in the CIA/Jackie Bouvier (Kennedy) series. I missed the first, so I may have missed some backstory, though I don't think I missed too much. What's painted within the book is speculation on what her life may have been like working for the CIA, something I never knew about.

 In Spy in a Little Black Dress, Jackie heads to Cuba where her mission is to check out Fidel Castro, and see exactly what he's like. Her trip isn't quite as easy as it seems when she faces kidnapping, tracking down a murderer, and even trying to solve the mystery behind a treasure she stumbles upon in an old diary. While this seems like a lot to handle, it's just another job for the well-trained CIA operative.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I did get caught up in her world, as many well-known names make appearances - JFK, Hemingway, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Fidel Castro, etc. As for the actual espionage, I often found myself drifting because it just wasn't holding my attention fully. I think partly because I just can't imagine the Jackie Kennedy I learned of in history class as being a CIA operative. That's no fault of the authors, however, it's simply a part of history that's completely new to me. I think the other aspect is that I was born after Kennedy was president, so I have no recollections of the woman before and during the presidency and assassination. For that reason, some of this book seemed more like a history lesson than a novel, and I hated history in school.

Given that, I did love the writing in Spy in a Little Black Dress. It's fast-paced and often witty. I often found myself snickering at the things Jackie said or thought. Given that, for someone more in tune with the times, I think this would become a must-read and a keeper.


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