No Way to Treat a First Lady, by Christopher Buckley
From the jacket: “Elizabeth Tyler MacMann, the First Lady of the United States, has been charged with killing her philandering husband, the President of the United States. In the midst of a bedroom spat, she allegedly hurled a historic Paul Revere spittoon at him, with tragic results. The attorney general has no choice but to put the First Lady on trial for assassination.”
My take: When you’re the First Lady and charged with murder, to whom do you turn? In the case of Beth MacMann, you call up your law school sparring partner, Boyce Baylor, now a sleazy but successful celebrity attorney whom you last saw when you jilted him for the man who’d become your husband. When sparks still fly as you work together to unravel the President’s death, is there any doubt that eventually you’ll find yourself fighting not just for your life but also for a second chance at love?
I picked this up at my grandmother’s suggestion earlier this year and was pleased to have done so. The story pulls you along quickly, the surroundings are peppered with my familiar D.C. scenery, and if the characters aren’t always likable, they do seem realistic. You end up rooting for Beth and Boyce to solve things quickly and to sort out their various entanglements. Plus the secondary characters, which include Babette Van Anka, the president’s paramour and a former B-grade singer/actress, are laugh-out-loud-worthy.
Want to read a book that epitomizes the ’90s, that combines the media circuses of the O.J. trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal? This is the tale for you.
Buckley also wrote Thank You for Smoking, a hilarious parody of D.C. lobbyists, which I saw on film a few years back.