Stabbing in the Senate (Washington Whodunit #1) by Colleen Shogan
ISBN: 9781603813310 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603813327 (ebook)
ASIN: B017CBHTOE (Kindle version)
Publication date: November 15, 2015
Publisher: Camel Press
Life is good for Kit Marshall. She’s a staffer in D.C. for a popular senator, and she lives with an adoring beagle and a brainy boyfriend with a trust fund. Then, one morning, Kit arrives at the office early and finds her boss, Senator Langsford, impaled by a stainless steel replica of an Army attack helicopter. Panicked, she pulls the weapon out of his chest and instantly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.
Circumstances back Kit’s claim of innocence, but her photograph has gone viral, and the heat won’t be off until the killer is found. Well-loved though the senator was, suspects abound. Langsford had begun to vote with his conscience, which meant he was often at odds with his party. Not only had the senator decided to quash the ambitions of a major military contractor, but his likely successor is a congressman he trounced in the last election. Then there’s the suspiciously dry-eyed Widow Langsford.
Kit’s tabloid infamy horrifies her boyfriend’s upper-crust family, and it could destroy her career. However, she and her free-spirited friend Meg have a more pressing reason to play sleuth. The police are clueless in more ways than one, and Kit worries that the next task on the killer’s agenda will be to end her life.
Read an excerpt:
I unlocked my file cabinet drawer, deposited my purse inside, grabbed the memo from underneath a stack of papers, and headed toward his private office. I zipped by the desk of the senator’s personal assistant, situated right outside his sanctum. Even Kara, right-hand keeper of the inviolable senatorial schedule, still hadn’t made an appearance.
The senator’s office door was ajar, and I barreled forward to position my memo on the top of his “to read” pile of papers. Staffers weren’t supposed to enter the senator’s office without a reason. Kara might turn the corner any moment. If I could just slip in and out unnoticed, this memo would be the first document he read when he arrived for work.
I glanced toward the sitting area. A hand rested on the arm of a regal chair. The chair, turned away from me, faced the windows and a beautiful view of the Capitol grounds. Royal screw up. I wasn’t the only person in the office. Senator Langsford was already here! He always arrived through a private entrance, not the main door. I had infiltrated his office unannounced. There was no way I could back out of the office gracefully.
I cleared my throat and stammered awkwardly, “Senator Langsford, I’m sorry, sir. It’s Kit Marshall, Senator. I didn’t quite finish up the Appropriations hearing memo before you left last night. I wanted to put it in your inbox this morning so you could read it, and if you’d like, we could discuss it later today or whenever.”
No response. After a minute, I asked, “Would you like me to put it on your desk?” I waved the memo back and forth. Lyndon Langsford was a suave politician who rarely missed a beat. That was why I enjoyed working for him. Nothing fazed him. Persistent protesters, disgruntled constituents, slimy lobbyists, and aggressive political reporters—he handled all with ease. In my thirty years on the planet, I wondered if I would ever manage to exude a fraction of his panache. Yet I never felt self-conscious around him. I waited for him to say something polite to let me off the hook for my transgression.
Utter silence. Was he asleep? It was an odd time for a power nap. Beads of sweat trickled down my neck, saturating the collar of my blouse. Senator Langsford was well-mannered, often to the extreme. Had he decided to give me the cold shoulder this morning? The stillness was stifling.
I could just put the memo on his desk, sidle out the door, and pretend I had never spoken. But I would not be able to work at my desk for the rest of the day, thinking Langsford was upset with me.
“Senator, I’m sorry,” I repeated. “I feel terrible for interrupting you. Should I leave the memo on your desk so you can read it?”
I’m not sure how long I stood there. A few seconds seemed like an eternity. I noticed there was no physical reaction at all to my question. That was weird. If he was irritated, his body language should have indicated annoyance. He had to be asleep.
As I approached tentatively, I noticed crimson drops of blood on the thick carpeting of his office. His head was thrown back, and two vacant eyes stared at me. Lyndon Lansgsford wasn’t giving me the cold shoulder. He was dead.
Praise for Stabbing in the Senate:
“A perfect who-done-it from a Capital Hill insider. Kit Marshall is a feisty protagonist I’m hoping to hear more from in the future.” Cathi Stoler, author of The Hard Way
“An interesting snapshot into the world of Senate staffers from a Capitol Hill insider. Political intrigue, mystery, and a rescue beagle named Clarence. What more could you ask for?” Tracy Weber, award-winning author of the Downward Dog Mystery Series
“Amid perpetual rounds of gossip, back-scratching, blame games and cocktails, Colleen Shogan offers an inside look into DC politics. A senator is murdered, and members of his staff are simultaneously suspicious, calculating and polite as they scramble for new jobs. Staff must also decide whether to collude on a revisionist history for the maverick’s opinions. Everyone is power hungry, but protocol demands that ambitions be kept hidden. Protagonist Kit Marshall is a breath of fresh air in a city of opportunists, and Stabbing in the Senate is a smart, snappy whodunit that kept me guessing until the end.” Susan Froetschel, award-winning author of Allure of Deceit
“In this smart, fast-paced mystery, Colleen Shogan gives a fascinating look at Washington, D.C., politics through a Senate staffer’s eyes. She kept me turning pages until the surprising reveal at the very end.” Mary Marks, author of the Martha Rose quilting mysteries
“A taut mystery, set in the halls of the Senate, a backdrop Shogan knows well. It kept me guessing until the end!” Carlene O’Neil, author of Cypress Cove Mystery series
“A fast-paced blend of murder mystery and political intrigue… Stabbing in the Senate is a page-turner that will keep the reader’s rapt attention to the very end.” Wisconsin Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review
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Also available at Politics & Prose