It’s January 30, 1936, and Hollywood star Ginger Rogers arrives in Washington for the annual President’s Birthday Ball, a fundraiser for the polio patients at Warm Springs, Georgia. When the security detail goes missing after the ball, Ginger joins the President’s secretary, Missy LeHand, to deposit more than $20,000 raised at the ball, but they are hijacked on the way to the bank. The robbers release them unharmed, but disappear with the dough. Who took the money? Was it a common criminal, or is someone trying to embarrass FDR as he faces re-election? Or could it be something more insidious, like a Russian plot to put a less effective leader in his place? A second mystery evolves around an embarrassing photo of FDR, dressed as a Roman Caesar, surrounded by his staff and family garbed as Vestal Virgins and centurions, that was taken as his private birthday party the same night. How on earth did Cissy Patterson, FDR’s sworn enemy and publisher of the largest circulation newspaper in Washington, get hold of this photo?
Readers of “Shirley Temple Is Missing” will welcome back the practical and perceptive Missy LeHand, straight-arrow FBI agent Corey Wainwright, and even bad-girl Hollywood reporter Joan Roswell, who is in town to cover Ginger Rogers at the Birthday Ball. But Missy has a problem as she is further attracted to Corey: her long-distance boyfriend, Ambassador to Russia William C. Bullitt, is also at home on an extended visit. How does she juggle the men in her life? Fact and fiction mix in this intriguing and convoluted tale!