Inspired by an actual letter in the John F. Kennedy Library written by Jackie and revealing her job offer from the newly formed CIA
Young Jacqueline Bouvier's first CIA assignment was supposed to be simple: Meet with a high-ranking Russian while he's in Paris and help him defect. But when the Comrade ends up dead, and Jackie-in her black satin peep-toe stiletto heels-barely escapes his killer, it's time to get some assistance. Enter Jacques Rivage, a French photographer and freelance CIA agent who seems too brash and carefree to grapple with spies, though he's all too able to make Jackie's heart skip a beat.
Together the two infiltrate 1951 high society in the City of Lights, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Duchess of Windsor, Audrey Hepburn, and Evelyn Waugh. Jackie, no longer a pampered debutante, draws on her quick intelligence, equestrian skills, and even her Chanel No. 5 atomizer as a weapon to stay alive in the shadowy world of international intrigue-and to keep her date with a certain up-and-coming, young Congressman from Massachusetts . . .
For the first in a light espionage series, the pseudonymous Kenneth (the writing team of Maxine Schnall and Kenneth Salikof) have used a reference in a letter Jacqueline Bouvier once wrote as the foundation for an alternate reality that puts Jackie to work for the CIA as an undercover agent. In 1951, family friend Allen Dulles taps Jackie to travel to Paris to help persuade a potential Russian defector to work for the U.S. She's soon busy escaping a relentless assassin, who, conveniently, fails to do her in when he has ample opportunity. Despite splashes of wry cleverness ("Jacqueline Lee Bouvier wasn't exactly dressed for discovering a corpse"), the authors choose to depict Jackie as something of an airhead, who, for example, neglects to take the lens cap off her camera before shooting pictures. Cameos by celebrities of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Fran ois Truffaut, will charm some, but others will have trouble with the plot's leaps of logic.
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Paris to Die For
I loved this book. It was a page turner from the start. If you love Paris, spy books and Jackie O, you'll find this book fun and entertaining.