Praise For Kathryn's Books

Baptists and Bootleggers

A jaunty, informative journey into the past. Smith combines travelogue and history in a brisk, breezy tour of sites throughout the South associated with Prohibition: museums (the Moonshine Museum, for one, and the Museum of the American Cocktail), hotels, distilleries, bars, speak-easies, and cemeteries. Each chapter features capsule biographies of colorful figures in the battle to ban alcohol, some long lost to history; points travelers to places of interest; and ends with recipes for cocktails with such enticing names as The Presbyterian (made with Palmetto whiskey), Mary Pickford (based on rum), The Kentucky Mule (bourbon, of course), and White Trash Lemonade (made with white lightning moonshine).

— Kirkus Reviews

Reading Kathryn Smith’s words makes me want to strap into a convertible and yell, “Road trip!” I want to go to Louisville and visit the Seelbach and Brown Hotels, see if I can pick up Fitzgerald’s and Capone’s vibes. I want to go in search of Carry Nation’s tiny hatchet pins. Baptists & Bootleggers is part history lesson, travelogue, diary, and recipe book. Shake them all together, and you’ve got a fun and informative romp waiting for you. I’ve never had a martini in my life, but you’d better believe I’m going to be testing out these recipes. She’s made me a believer.

— Bren McClain, author of One Good Mama Bone


A lively chronicle of an eventful life told with style and rigor.

Kirkus Reviews

What a life! Heiress; adventuress; big-game hunter; explorer–in the decades after the Great War, Gertrude Legendre embodied the free-spirited Jazz Age woman. When yet another world conflict broke out, she naturally wanted to do her part for the Allied cause. Her grit and glamour sustained her when–working for “Wild Bill” Donovan’s OSS, the first organized U.S. spy service–she became the first American woman captured by the Nazis. Kathryn Smith’s marvelous biography brings Legendre’s remarkable story vividly to the page. You will be transfixed.

— Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II 


A marvelous portrait of a professional woman ahead of her time whose relationship with FDR sheds new light on his personality and decisions.

— Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

In The Gatekeeper, Kathryn Smith does full justice to the fascinating and heartbreaking life of Missy LeHand, who rose from a working-class background to become a close confidant and trusted advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt and one of the most influential members of his administration…Thanks to Smith, she is – at long last – getting the recognition she deserves.

— Lynne Olson, author of Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler

Missy LeHand Mysteries, with Kelly Durham

Shirley Temple Is Missing

Fluid prose enhances this light, enjoyable visit to the 1930s.

— Kirkus Reviews

Eleanor Roosevelt Goes to Prison

…the breezy prose is filled with humorous interludes, and the portrait of an indefatigable and earnest Mrs. Roosevelt is delightful. An enjoyable ensemble cast skillfully beefs up an uncomplicated crime plot; a quick, fun read with unsavory secondary characters and salient historical tidbits.

— Kirkus Reviews