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Monday 27 June 2016

☀☄ Homicide in the House: Washington Whodunit [2] - Colleen J. Shogan

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Homicide in the House, a Cozy Mystery by (, Camel Press, 222 pages).

This is the second book in the Washington Whodunit series.  Details and trailer for the first book are below!

Don't miss our interview with author Colleen J. Shogan.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first four chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Colleen J. Shogan will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.  

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Kit Marshall has bounced back from her first brush with the law, when she was suspected of murdering her senator boss. Now she is working for a freshman congresswoman, Maeve Dixon, a young Gulf War veteran representing North Carolina.

It’s February, and Kit is feeling out of sorts. A government shutdown has just been announced, wreaking havoc on the Hill, and Dan, Dixon’s chief of staff and Kit’s supervisor, is an inexperienced lightweight flying blind. Then there’s Kit’s distracted live-in boyfriend, Doug, who doesn’t seem any closer to popping the question. Kit’s best friend Meg is up to her eyeballs with her new beau and oversight committee job, and Clarence the beagle mix will certainly not win Capitol Canine if Meg has to campaign for him all by herself.

Bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse. Early one morning Representative Dixon is caught standing over the corpse of Jack Drysdale, the Speaker of the House’s top staffer, a man she argued with in front of the press the day before. The murder weapon was the Speaker’s gavel. This item was entrusted to Dixon at the time, leading the police to believe they’ve found their killer.

To save her job, Kit must clear her boss’s name, and quickly. Dixon’s career may be over if the police declare her a suspect or an anonymous blogger known as Hill Rat breaks the story. Solving this murder will test Kit’s courage and all her fledgling powers of deduction as she roams a spooky, sparsely populated Capitol Hill looking for clues and sounding out suspects.

Teaser: Excerpt

Chapter One

The digital clock blinked an irritating red, glaring “11:59” in block numerals. The wait was nearly over. Every television news station had displayed the number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds remaining until the inevitable federal government shutdown. We’d peered over the cliff, and apparently, it was time to jump.
     >“Kit, did you approve my quote for the press release?” The high-pitched voice of my boss, Representative Maeve Dixon from the great Southern state of North Carolina, jolted me out of my brief reverie.The clock now radiated “12:01.” Armageddon had officially arrived.
     >“Yes, Maeve. I approved your comment a few hours ago. I like the part about you standing with the people of North Carolina against the politicians who caused this mess. It’s always good to run against Washington.” I mustered a small smile and added, “Especially when it’s shuttered.”
     “I can’t imagine the quote will put me in good stead with my fellow colleagues in Congress, but what choice do I have?”
     Representative Dixon, who insisted I call her Maeve, was right.She had been elected to the House by the narrowest of margins a little over a year ago, and it being February, she’d face reelection in nine months. Homespun constituents closely monitored her political posturing. On the other hand, the leadership of her party in Congress would also look to Maeve, who was young and energetic, to carry the day when the politics surrounding the shutdown ripened on the airwaves and Twitter-sphere. We were heading into uncharted waters.Maeve was a middle-of-the-road Democrat new to Congress and I had never dealt with such a monumental catastrophe. But as her legislative director, it was my job to know everything about the ensuing crisis.
     >A cacophony of telephone rings resembling a bad handbell choir served as background music. It was all hands on deck in the Dixon office. We’d been barraged with calls from constituents for several hours now, with questions ranging from Maeve’s position on the shutdown to whether they could still visit the Smithsonian next week during February’s Presidents’ Day holiday. The negative answer to the latter question was usually met with a litany of loud expletives, routinely resulting in our interns holding the telephone receivers at least six inches from their ears.
     >“Kit, I asked you a question. Do I have any other options?”
     I looked directly at Maeve, whose long brown hair had been drawn into a hastily assembled late-night bun. Her athletic body assumed a slumped posture, no doubt the result from tiresome workdays with no recent opportunities to relieve stress at the gym. I thought her earlier question was rhetorical, but I should have known better. Maeve was literal and straightforward. She’d completed military tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. If she asked a question, she expected a direct answer.
     >“Not right now, ma’am. We should move forward with the plan we discussed. Let’s not deviate until we know how long this shutdown might last.”
     When it became clear that Congress might not come to a resolution on the federal budget before funding ran out, Maeve and I had devised a plan for how she’d handle the crisis. She needed to walk a fine line. Our party was pushing a spending bottom line that was too high. On the other hand, the Republicans wanted to cut every social program known to mankind. Maeve couldn’t stand wholeheartedly behind her party’s leadership because it would kill her with the more conservative constituents in her congressional district.But if she spoke too loudly against mainstream Democrats, they would make her pay when the crisis was over.
     >Keeping her head down wasn’t an option, either. As she’d told me many times, she’d done enough of that during her military service.For her, being labeled a backbencher for the rest of her congressional career was tantamount to a political death sentence.

Homicide in the House
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The Series: Washington Whodunit

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Stabbing in the Senate [1]

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.

[Published 28 October 2015, 194 pages]

About the Author

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six.  She writes the Washington Whodunit series published by Camel Press.

A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn.  She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service.  She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress.

Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Follow Colleen J. Shogan:

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Colleen Shogan said...

Thank you!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour, and enjoyed the excerpt :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excerpt and interview!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to share this giveaway.

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great excerpt - thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great read, hope I'll have a chance to read it soon!

BooksChatter said...

Hi Colleen!
Our pleasure! Love Conan :-)


Unknown said...

I enjoyed the entire post. Thank you for the sharing.