Rosalie Curzon, a Washington, D.C., call girl, is found bludgeoned to death in her Adams-Morgan apartment. At the murder scene a video camera is discovered nestled high on a bookshelf. Had the victim taped some of her clients during their sexual liaisons? As the investigation proceeds, so does business inside the Beltway. President Burton Pyle is heatedly running for reelection against consummate politician Robert Colgate, who is expected to win. Colgate, though, is not without cracks in his slick exterior: Rumors swirl about his failing marriage and various dalliances. But no one is prepared for the explosive development that erupts when the daughter of Colgate’s closest friend is kidnapped and Detective Mary Hall and rookie cop Matthew Jackson uncover a shocking connection between the abduction, the Curzon case—and a killer no one will see coming.
Nobody knows the crooked turns, slippery slopes, and dark, dangerous stretches of the Beltway better than Margaret Truman, dean of the Washington, D.C., mystery scene. And no one is better equipped to lead a suspenseful tour into the treacherous territory of big-time political lobbying, where the right information and enough influence can buy power–the kind that corrupts . . . and sometimes kills.
Arriving home from a fund-raising dinner, senior Illinois senator Lyle Simmons discovers his wife’s brutally bludgeoned body. And like any savvy politician with presidential aspirations, his first move is to phone his attorney. In this case, it’s his old friend and college roommate, former DA Philip Rotondi, who gamely agrees to step out of quiet retirement and into the thick of a D.C.-style political, criminal, and public relations maelstrom from which no one will escape unscathed.
The crime scene is barely cold when the senator’s estranged daughter arrives hurling shocking allegations of murder at her father, despite a roomful of well-heeled witnesses who can provide Simmons with an alibi. Meanwhile, D.C.’s rumor mills and spin machines shift into high gear as speculation swirls around a tabloid- and TV-ready prime suspect: Jonell Marbury, a dashing lawyer turned lobbyist at a powerful K Street firm–and the last person to see the victim alive. But Rotondi harbors his own unsettling suspicions.
And after a second woman is killed, he discovers that a long-buried secret from his past may hold the key to cracking the case.
Aided by sleuthing ex-attorneys Mac and Annabel Smith, Rotondi reawakens the prosecutorial skills that served him so well in his gang-busting days, following the stench of dirty money and dirtier tricks across the country and across the thresholds of back rooms and front offices alike–where doing the right thing is for fools and taking on the system is a dead man’s gambit.
Margaret Truman, who knows where all the bodies are buried inside the Beltway, has written her most thrilling novel of suspense yet. Murder at the Opera features the popular crime-fighting couple Mac Smith and his wife, Annabel Reed-Smith, as they navigate the glitz, glamour, and grime that is Washington, D.C.
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings . . . but the show hasn’t even started yet when a diva is found dead. The soprano in question, a petite young Asian Canadian named Charise Lee, was scarcely a star at the Washington National Opera. But when the aspiring singer is stabbed in the heart backstage during rehearsals, she suddenly takes center stage.
Georgetown law professor Mac Smith thought he’d just be carrying a rapier in Tosca as a favor for his beloved Annabel, but now they’re both being pressured by the panicked theater board to unmask a killer. Providing accompaniment will be former homicide detective, current P.I., and eternal opera fan Raymond Pawkins.
Soon the Smiths find themselves dangerously improvising among an expanding cast of suspects with all sorts of scores to settle. What they uncover is an increasingly complex case reaching far beyond Washington to a dark world of informers and terror alerts in Iraq, and climaxing on a fateful night at the opera attended by none other than the President himself.
“Truman can write suspense with the best of them.” –Larry King
“Satisfying . . . [a] solid mystery . . . a cautionary tale about ambition and a vote for journalistic integrity.” –Publishers Weekly
At the big, aggressive Washington Tribune, a young woman, fresh out of journalism school, has been brutally strangled to death–and the hunt for her killer is making sensational headlines. Then a second woman is found dead. She, too, worked in the media. For veteran Trib reporter Joe Wilcox, the case strikes too close to home: His daughter is a beautiful rising TV news star. Seeing a chance to revive his free-falling career, Joe spearheads the Trib’s investigation and baits a trap for the murderer with a secret from his own past. Suddenly Joe is risking his career, his marriage, and even his daughter’s life by playing a dangerous game with a possible serial killer . . . one who hides in plain sight.
“Ripe with suspense, Truman’s mystery gets edgier with each page. . . . A captivating, fast-paced thriller.” –Romantic Times
When Washington’s splendid Union Station opened its doors in 1908, the glorious structure epitomized capital stylishness. Today, restored and refurbished, the station is again a hub of activity where the world’s most famous and infamous people meet–and often collide. Now, in Margaret Truman’s new Capital Crime novel, this landmark locale becomes the scene of a sensational shooting whose consequences ricochet from seedy bars to the halls of Congress.
Historic Union Station means nothing to the elderly man speeding south on the last lap of what turns out to be a one-way journey from Tel Aviv to D.C.–on a train that will soon land him at Gate A-8 and, moments later, at St. Peter’s Gate. This weary traveler, whose terminal destination is probably hell, is Louis Russo, former mob hit man and government informer. Two men are at the station to meet him. One is Richard Marienthal, a young writer whose forthcoming book is based on Russo’s life. The other is the man who kills him.
Russo has returned to help promote Marienthal’s book, which, although no one has been allowed to read it, already has some people shaking in their Gucci boots. The powerful fear the contents will not only expose organized crime’s nefarious business, but also a top-secret assignment abroad that Russo once masterminded for a very-high-profile Capitol Hill client. As news of Russo’s murder rockets from the MPD to the FBI and the CIA, from Congress to the West Wing, the final chapter of the story begins its rapid-fire unfolding.
In addition to the bewildered Marienthal and his worried girlfriend, there is an array of memorable characters: rock-ribbed right-wing Senator Karl Widmer; ruthless New York publisher Pamela Warren; boozy MPD Detective Bret Mullin; shoe-shine virtuoso Joe Jenks; dedicated presidential political adviser Chet Fletcher; and President Adam Parmele himself–not to mention freelance snoops, blow-dried climbers, and a killer or two. There’s no place like the nation’s capital, and as her myriad fans know, Margaret Truman always gets it right. Murder at Union Station is a luxury express, nonstop delight.
It was the site of one of the most infamous assassinations in American history. Now bestselling mystery master Margaret Truman premieres a new murder at Ford’s Theater–one that’s hot off today’s headlines.
The body of Nadia Zarinski, an attractive young woman who worked for senator Bruce Lerner–and who volunteered at Ford’s–is discovered in the alley behind the theatre. Soon a pair of mismatched cops–young, studious Rick Klieman and gregarious veteran Moses “Mo” Johnson–start digging into the victim’s life, and find themselves confronting an increasing cast of suspects.
There’s Virginia Senator Lerner himself, rumored to have had a sexual relationship with Nadia–and half the women in D.C. under ninety. . . . Clarise Emerson, producer/director of Ford’s Theatre and ex-wife of the Senator, whose nomination to head the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is now threatened by the scandal . . . Jeremiah Lerner, her aimless, hot-tempered son, said to have been sleeping with Nadia when his famous father wasn’t . . . Bernard Crowley, the theatre’s controller, whose emotions overflow at the mention of the crime . . . faded British stage star Sydney Bancroft, desperate for recognition and a comeback, and armed with damning information about Clarise Emerson . . . and other complex characters from both sides of the footlights.
With her unparalleled understanding of Washington and its players, and her savvy sense of how strange bedfellows cut deals even in the midst of mayhem, Margaret Truman always delivers the most sophisticated and satisfying suspense. Murder at Ford’s Theatre is her most compelling, insightful novel yet, sure to earn her a standing ovation from her many fans and new followers alike.
Havana may be far from Washington, but DC power brokers are never far from Havana. Neither are danger, deception, and sudden death. That’s what draws Max Pauling there. As an ex-CIA, ex-State Department employee, he faces an uneventful early retirement–until he is asked to secretly fly some medical supplies into the mysterious Cuban city.
If Max is looking for excitement, he finds it. First there’s his contact, a breathtaking beauty with private plans of her own. Then there’s a former senator, in Havana to ease the U.S. embargo, but who may have another, more malevolent, mission. Throw in endless supplies of under-the-table money– not to mention a murder–and Max has landed in a place even more corrupt . . . and more compelling . . . than the U.S. capital itself.
Once it was a swamp. Now Foggy Bottom is swimming with real-estate sharks. When a man is found stabbed to death in this trendy D.C. neighborhood, it is major news. But within forty-eight hours the nation is gripped by a fear that leaves this comparatively small crime in the dark.
Three passenger planes are shot out of the sky. Everywhere–in law enforcement, in the media, and in the most secret realms of government–men and women scramble to find out who shot hand-held missiles at the planes, and why. It is a search that reaches from Moscow to the Pacific Northwest, putting some people’s lives in jeopardy and turning others lives inside out. But no one can guess the truth: that the epicenter of the terrorist outbreak is Washington D.C. . . . and a dead man behind a park bench in a place called Foggy Bottom.
In the depths of the U.S. Library of Congress toil thousands of researchers, chasing down obsessions, breakthroughs, and new contributions to human wisdom. But when amateur D.C. sleuth Annabel Reed-Smith enters this stately American institution, she discovers a hornet’s nest of intrigue and murder.
After a renowned scholar is bludgeoned to death among the scholarly stacks, an ambitious TV reporter links the case to the heist of a Spanish painting from a Miami museum and a killing in Mexico City. Annabel suspects that buried in the Library are secrets some people will do anything to keep silent–the secret of a rich man’s ambition, a researcher’s disappearance, and a mysterious diary of Christopher Columbus’s journey written five hundred years ago. . . .
The Watergate in Washington, D.C., is one of the world’s most famous addresses– although not everyone knows exactly what it is. This imposing, fabulous complex is made up of a hotel, residences, restaurants, offices, shops, and more. It is a haven for the famous after they break out and, on occasion, for the infamous when they break in. Its very name has become part of our history. Margaret Truman, herself the bearer of one of the world’s most famous names, knows Washington’s ins and outs, including who is "in" and who is "out." In this absorbing, timely Capital Crimes mystery, she shows us around this fascinating city that is America’s center of power and–some would say–corruption. Some of those who are "out" here are very dead indeed. The glittering cast of characters includes Vice President Joe Aprile, who plans to become president, if he can avoid a tempting vice; a glamorous Washington hostess and fund-raiser, Elfie Dorrance, with a propensity for marrying rich and powerful men and then grieving prettily at the end–their end; and Chris Hedras, a special assistant to the vice president, with some very special ambitions. And, of course, Annabel Smith, gallery owner, and Mac Smith, law school professor. The story deals in part with the influence on political campaigns of "soft money" and its hard consequences, as well as this country’s tortuous and often ambiguous relationship with Mexico, in particular the glorious San Miguel de Allende, home of the well-to-do, and a few ill-to-do, a place involving drugs, politics, and police and politicians looking the other way. Once again Margaret Truman offers a delight to the reader who likes a fast-turning page, the pleasure of inside information, the allure of high life crossing paths with lowlife, and the return of the attractive crime-solving couple Mac and Annabel
He died beneath the Statue of Freedom, clutching a 9-mm pistol in his hand. But as dawn rose, the politician would die again–in a hail of rumor and character assassination.
Now one man suspects the shattering truth: that the congressman’s suicide was a carefully planned murder. In the heart of the free world, a furious struggle begins: to reclaim a man’s innocence, expose a woman’s lie, and stop a chilling conspiracy of murder that reaches halfway around the world. . . .
When the senior curator at Washington’s famed National Gallery finds a missing painting by the Renaissance master Caravaggio, he mounts a world-class exhibition—and plots a brilliant forgery scheme that will stun the art world.
“A thrilling chase.”—Publishers Weekly
But an artful deception suddenly becomes a portrait of blackmail and murder—as gallery owner and part-time sleuth Annabel Reed-Smith and her husband go searching for clues in the heady arena of international art and uncover a rare collection of unscrupulous characters that leads all the way to Italy.
“Highly recommended . . . One of [Margaret] Truman’s best.”—Booklist
NATIONAL BESTSELLER MARGARET TRUMAN Bestselling author of MURDER AT THE PENTAGON
MURDER ON THE POTOMAC
"A first-rate mystery writer." –Los Angeles Times Book Review First time in paperback! "Harry’s daughter knows her milieu; better still, she knows how to portray it convincingly." –The San Diego Union Law professor Mac has unflagging passion for two things in his life: his wife Annabel and the majestic Potomac River. When Mac discovers a weed-shrouded body in the latter, the former gets edgy. Lovely Annabel, owner of a flourishing Georgetown art gallery, must not only endure her husband’s obsession with another killing, but she must believe Mac when he says that a stunning female former student is one of the only people who can help him. They discover that the corpse was once the confidante’ of a wealthy Washingtonian, which leads to the Scarlet Sin Society, a theatrical group that–perilously–reenacts historical murders. And soon, the only thing that matters more to Mac than solving this serpentine case is preventing Annabel’s untimely death (. "Truman ‘knows the forks’ in the nation’s capital and how to pitchfork her readers into a web of murder and detection." –The Christian Science Monitor "Margaret Truman has settled firmly into a career of writing murder mysteries, all evoking brilliantly the Washington she knows so well." –The Houston Post
"Margaret Truman has become a first-rate mystery writer." LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW When a genius doctor is murdered and a desert madman gains the means to kill millions, Major Margit Falk, a helicopter pilot and Pentagon lawyer, is drawn into Project Safekeep–an antimissile scheme under congressional investigation. The alleged murderer has his share of secrets, but Falk smells conspiracy in the air. And although she turns to her mentor, law professor Mackenzie Smith for help, she’s got to beat a cunning madman and a nuclear blast…. An Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild
“A vigorous tale of twists and turns . . . An authentic thriller.”—The Washington Post Book World
Murder didn’t stop Mac Smith or Annabel Reed from falling in love, or from getting married at the glorious church on the hill in Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral. But the brutal murder of a friend drags them from their newlywed bliss into an unholy web of intrigue and danger.
The body is found in the cathedral. There are scant clues and no suspects. And to further complicate matters, a parallel crime is committed at a church in England’s Cotswolds, where the honeymooners have recently been visitors. Across the sea go the Smiths again, and straight into the center of an ungodly plot of secret agents, a playboy priest, a frustrated lover, a choleric cleric . . . and a murder so perfect it’s a sin.
Praise for Murder at the National Cathedral
“One of her most enjoyable books.”—Associated Press
“Margaret Truman has become a first-rate mystery writer.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review