Audacity lives in a home for wayward girls in the early 1900's. She is a leader among the other girls, but enjoys occasionally sneaking away to read in her own private library hideaway. When a local businessmen, Commodore Crutchfield, says he is on an important mission to help the country she agrees to come along, both to do her patriotic duty and to have a bit of real adventure. As she continues her journey she comes to realize that they are on their way to Washington DC, and she soon finds herself in the role of cook's assistant in the White House. Soup is not the only thing the cook is brewing, and soon Audacity and some new friends find they are involved with something more dangerous than they had imagined.
Audacity is a spunky character and I like the fact that she is always kind and polite. She uses her natural courage and wit to solve the mystery, aided by her great store of knowledge from being avid and omnivorous reader. She is quite an endearing heroine and I will probably read her next adventure when it comes out. Larsen takes quite a bit of artistic license with the historical facts surrounding the presidency of William Howard Taft, but includes a note at the end of the book that explains what elements are historical and which are fictional. (209 p)