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Thursday 25 March 2021

☀ Murder on the Metro: Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes [31] - Jon Land

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Murder on the Metro, a Political Thriller by (, Forge Books, 288 pages).

This is the thirty-first book in the Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes series, and the first one to be authored by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land. All books in the series are standalone novels.

Don't miss our four star review of Murder on the Metro coming Sat 3 April! (apologies for the delay but I have been suffering with some severe backache)

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below, as well as full details of the series. .

Author Jon Land will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to two randomly drawn winners 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 || Excerpt || The Series || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


In Margaret Truman's Murder on the Metro, Jon Land's first thrilling addition to the New York Times bestselling Capital Crimes series, Robert Brixton uncovers a sinister plot threatening millions of American lives!

Israel: A drone-based terrorist attack kills dozens on a sun-splashed beach in Caesarea.

Washington: America awakens to the shattering news that Vice President Stephanie Davenport has died of an apparent heart attack.

That same morning, a chance encounter on the Washington Metro results in international private investigator Robert Brixton thwarting an attempted terrorist bombing. Brixton has no reason to suspect that the three incidents have anything in common, until he’s contacted by Kendra Rendine, the Secret Service agent who headed up the vice president’s security detail. Rendine is convinced the vice president was murdered and needs Brixton’s investigative expertise to find out why.

In Israel, meanwhile, legendary anti-terrorist fighter Lia Ganz launches her own crusade against the perpetrators of that attack which nearly claimed the lives of her and granddaughter. Ganz’s trail will ultimately take her to Washington where she joins forces with Brixton to uncover an impossible link between the deadly attack on Caesarea and the attempted Metro bombing, as well as the death of the vice president.

The connection lies in the highest corridors of power in Washington where a deadly plot with unimaginable consequences has been hatched. With the clock ticking toward doomsday, Brixton and Ganz race against time to save millions of American lives who will otherwise become collateral damage to a conspiracy destined to change the United States forever.



Shortly after Detective Rogers had finally taken his leave, Brixton was escorted up to street level to be transported to Georgetown University Medical Center to be fully checked out. He boarded the back of an ambulance, joining two other passengers he vaguely recognized from the crowded Metro car, who’d also suffered potential concussions. The street had been shut down to allow the area outside the Metro station to become a way station for emergency vehicles and first responders. There weren’t many bystanders or onlookers about; the city was likely undergoing a soft evacuation, given the possibility that the Metro attack presaged a wider, 9/11-like wave of them. So far there had been no further reports, and by the time the ambulance in which Brixton was riding reached the medical center’s emergency room, the potential code red had been dimmed to yellow.
      Upon arriving at the already chaotic emergency room, Brixton insisted on going to the back of the line to be checked out. Others were clearly in more need, as much for reassurance as for treatment. The injured knew to a man and woman that no matter how shaken they were, they had come very close to being part of an unspeakable tragedy. While they might not have been aware of the specific physics of what the typical deadly contents of a suicide bomb could have done in an enclosed environment like a Metro car, as Brixton was, they certainly understood that the vast majority of them would be nursing far more than minor injuries if the bomb had gone off inside it.
      He looked about the jam-packed area where his fellow passengers had been brought and, for the first time really, considered his own actions. What would have happened if his suspicions hadn’t provoked the bomber to flee the car? What if he had ignored his instincts and had not studied her in a way that had clearly unnerved her? In that sense, the death of his own daughter may well have saved dozens of lives, at long last lending a measure of sense to that tragedy. He had told Detective Rogers that he’d once read that coincidence was another word for God. But there was another quote Brixton found even more oddly appropriate to explain his presence on that Metro train this morning, from John Lennon no less: “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”
      And fate had placed him in that Metro car, just as it had placed him in that restaurant with his daughter five years ago. He’d been plagued so much over that period by the question of why Janet had died while he had lived. Perhaps, at long last, this morning had provided the answer.
      He continued rotating his gaze about, occasionally encountering a grateful look from someone who recognized him and clearly understood that his actions were what had forced the suicide bomber from the car. He took no special pleasure in being proclaimed a hero, especially since he’d felt like the polar opposite of that after he’d failed to save Janet.
      The sound of the automatic doors sliding open turned his gaze in that direction, and he spotted Mackensie Smith barreling in. He hesitated only long enough to spot Brixton before resuming his charge.
      “Oh my God, Robert, oh my God…”
      Brixton rose to greet him and Mac swallowed him in a hug, his trembling making Brixton quiver himself.
      “Thank God you called. If you hadn’t, when you didn’t show up at the office, I might have…”
      Mac let his remark trail off. No reason to complete the thought, since the rest was understood.
      “Thanks for coming down, Mac,” Brixton said, squeezing the older man’s shoulders.
      He’d lived with Mackensie Smith and his wife, Annabel, in their apartment after the media circus had camped outside of his, in the wake of his gunning down of a sitting congressman’s son, whom he was certain was complicit in the terrorist bombing five years ago. And it had been Mac who had invited him to set up shop in one of his law firm’s offices to both take much of the firm’s investigative work while also having a base to find his own. In that moment, Brixton remembered he’d been on that particular train this morning specifically because Mac had asked to see him earlier than he normally came in—something else, in other words, he had to thank his friend for.
      A couple who’d occupied the next two chairs over got up to leave, freeing space for Mac when Brixton sat back down. Mac clutched his forearm and showed no signs of letting go.
      “I thought you’d be answering questions from the police by now,” he said.
      “They questioned me at the scene.” Brixton laid his free hand atop the one with which Mac was clutching his forearm. “Don’t think I’m going to need your guest room this time.”
      “Offer’s always open, Robert. You know that.”
      Brixton finally slid his arm out from Mac’s grasp. “What’s wrong, Mac?”
      “Are you really asking me that? First, news of the vice president’s tragic death, and now this?”
      At that, Smith moved his gaze to one of the emergency room’s wall-mounted flat-screen televisions, now featuring a split screen of the bombing’s aftermath and the tragic news about Vice President Stephanie Davenport, who had died of a heart attack the previous night.
      “There’s something else,” Brixton said.
      “That’s not enough?”
      “What did you want to see me about this morning?”
      Smith hedged. “What’s the difference? It can wait.”
      “New case?”
      “I said it can wait.”
      Smith seemed suddenly reluctant to meet Brixton’s gaze. “That’s what I thought.”
      “It’s nothing.”
      “Then why are you lying?”
      “About what?”
      “The fact that it’s about nothing. Whenever people say that, it’s almost always quite the opposite.”
      His best friend very much seemed like he desperately wanted to be somewhere else. “How many lives did you save this morning, Robert?”
      “I wasn’t counting.”
      “Could have been as many as fifty, if that bomb had gone off inside the car.”
      “You’re changing the subject.”
      Smith nodded. “Anything to take my mind off the vice president. I knew her, you know. Quite well in fact. Did you ever have the pleasure?”
      “You’re changing the subject again, Mac.”
      “I thought you could use the distraction.”
      “What did you want to see me about this morning?”
      “It can wait, Robert.”
      “You said that already.”
      “And it’s still true.” Smith fidgeted, shifting in search of a more comfortable position. “You call Flo?”
      “We’re no longer together.”
      “Something I’ve never quite understood.”
      “We grew apart, Mac. What can I say?”
      “More than you have already, for starters,” Smith scoffed. “You don’t think she’s worried out of her mind, regardless?”
      “She’d have no way to know I was on that train, unless my name’s already gotten out. Please tell me it hasn’t, Mac.”
      “Not to my knowledge.”
      “Because I don’t want that kind of attention again.”
      “Flo called Annabel, you know.”
      “No, I didn’t,” Brixton said. “When?”  
      “Last week, the week before maybe. She was worried about you.”
      “I’m sure Annabel reassured her.”
      “As much as she could.”
      “What’s that mean?”
      “We’ve been worried about you, too, Robert.”
      “Is that what you wanted to see me about this morning, Mac?”
      Mackensie Smith’s expression changed, his thoughts veering. “You were carrying on the train, I assume.”
      Brixton tapped his holstered SIG Sauer, giving his friend a pass on not answering his question. “Sure.”
      “Did you think about shooting the bomber?”
      “I followed her up the aisle when my presence made her uncomfortable. I couldn’t see her hands, Mac. Figured she might be holding the trigger cord, and I was afraid if I shot her she would have yanked it, even involuntarily, inside the car.”
      “Makes sense. You’ll come out of this one just fine,” Smith assured him.
      “I already have—relatively, anyway.”
      “Mr. Brixton. Mr. Robert Brixton. Please come to the reception desk,” a voice blared over the emergency room’s PA system.
      Brixton stood back up, feeling a bit woozy on his feet.
      “Easy there,” Mackensie Smith said, rising to support him.
      “Must be my turn.”
      Smith accompanied him over to the reception desk, which was nearly blocked by people milling about, waiting to ask about loved ones. Before Brixton could make his way to the front, a pair of men with DC Metro police badges dangling from their necks slid before him.
      “Who said you could leave the scene, Mr. Brixton?” asked a detective who looked vaguely familiar to him.
      “Excuse me?” Brixton posed, as Mackensie Smith shouldered his way alongside him.
      The bigger detective, who had a bald pate, shiny with perspiration, flashed his badge. “Detectives Lanning and Banks, Mr. Brixton. A uniform placed you away from the other passengers in triage and told you to wait for us.”
      Brixton realized the bald detective, Lanning, had been part of the team that had investigated the suicide bombing five years ago, the local liaison. “Yes, that uniform told me to wait for a detective, who would be questioning me.”
      “But you left anyway.”
      Brixton exchanged a glance with Mac Smith. “Only after the detective showed up and questioned me about my actions and what I witnessed on the train.”
      “After who questioned you?” Lanning asked him.
      “Detective Rogers.”
      Now it was Lanning’s and Banks’s turn to exchange a glance, before Lanning resumed. “I don’t know who you spoke with, Mr. Brixton, but there’s no Detective Rogers on the force.”

Murder on the Metro
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The Series: Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes

Margaret Truman’s beloved New York Times bestselling Capital Crimes series let readers into the corridors of power and privilege, and poverty and pageantry, in the nation’s capital.

Following Margaret Truman's passing in 2011, this murder mystery series was carried on by Donald Bain, a longtime friend of Margaret Truman who worked closely with her on her novels.

The series is now carried on by Jon Land, following Donald Bain's passing in 2017.

|| [1] || [2] || [3] || [4] || [5] || [6] || [7] || || [8] || [9] || [10] || [11] || [12] || [13] || [14] || || [15] || [16] || [17] || [18] || [19] || [20] || [21] || || [22] || [23] || [24] || [25] || [26] || [27] || [28] || [29] || [30] ||

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

Murder in the White House [1]

by Margaret Truman

The murder of the secretary of state in the executive mansion sparks a mystery with “a superb denouement” (Time).

In a city where the weapon of choice is usually gossip, the strangling of Secretary of State Lansard Blaine in the Lincoln Bedroom is a gruesome first. White House counsel Ron Fairbanks is ordered to investigate. There are persistent rumors that the secretary was an inveterate womanizer with ties to a glamorous call girl. There is also troubling evidence of unofficial connections with international agents.

For Fairbanks, who is in love with the president’s daughter, one point is all too clear: only a few highly placed insiders had access to the Lincoln Bedroom that fateful evening, one of whom was the president. Torn between his job, his loyalty, his love, and uncovering the truth, Fairbanks must make gut-wrenching choices that lead to a surprise no one could have foreseen.

[First published 1 May 1980; this edition 15 March 2015, 264 pages]

Murder on Capitol Hill [2]

by Margaret Truman

A senator’s death sends shock waves through Washington, DC, in this mystery by the New York Times–bestselling author and presidential daughter.

Sen. Cale Caldwell and his blue-blooded wife maintained a far-reaching and powerful grip on Capitol Hill society, but not powerful enough to save him from foul play. The influential senator’s life is cut short in brutal fashion at a glamorous reception held in his honor.

It happens just two short years after tragedy struck the Caldwell family in the form of the unsolved murder of his niece, but when attorney Lydia James suggests a connection, she’s shut down, and fast. Who stands to benefit from the Caldwells’ tragedies, and James’s silence—the senator’s political rivals, the media, or perhaps even the family’s closest allies?

[First published 1 May 1981; this edition 14 March 2015, pages]

Murder in the Supreme Court [3]

by Margaret Truman

Justice must be served when a chief clerk is killed in this mystery by the New York Times–bestselling author.

When Clarence Sutherland, chief clerk of the Supreme Court, is found dead, Lt. Martin Teller of the DC police and Susanna Pinscher of the Justice Department are pulled together to find the killer.

It turns out that Sutherland had a lot of confidential information on important people, and any one of them could be responsible for his death. But one startling clue seems to implicate the high court itself: Sutherland was found slumped over in the chief justice’s chair. Did the clerk know something that the top judge, and perhaps even the president himself, didn’t want revealed? Teller and Pinscher intend to find out . . .

From the daughter of President Harry Truman, an expert at depicting the details of life inside the beltway, Murder in the Supreme Court provides an intriguing peek into the world of Washington’s powerful justice system.

[First published 1 June 1982; this edition 29 April 2015, 275 pages]

Murder in the Smithsonian [4]

by Margaret Truman

In a mystery replete with “nonstop action and a brilliantly evocative setting,” a noted historian is murdered at the National Museum of Art (Booklist).

Dr. Lewis Tunney, a brilliant historian who had stumbled onto an international art scandal, was brutally murdered in front of two hundred guests at an elegant party at the Smithsonian.

Taking the case, DC police Cpt. Mac Hanrahan begins to uncover a web of secrets, lies, and revenge surrounding the historian’s killing. From the deceased Tunney’s strong-willed fiancée, Heather McBean, to the congressmen with secrets to hide, Hanrahan finds himself unsure who to believe. Soon after, two more murders add to the intrigue.

Murder in the Smithsonian is the fourth volume in Margaret Truman’s beloved Capital Crimes series, in which Truman enlivens history with her first-hand knowledge as the daughter of US President Harry S. Truman. Each of the novels revolve around Washington, DC, and its landmarks. The Smithsonian’s museums, with their quirky staff, forensic scientists, and sometimes-spooky exhibits are the perfect setting for a thrilling political crime novel.

[First published 1 June 1983; this edition 15 March 2015, 296 pages]

Murder on Embassy Row [5]

by Margaret Truman

The death of a diplomat leads two DC cops into “an absorbing puzzle” (The Washington Weekly).

British Ambassador to the US Geoffrey James is a shady sort, prone to womanizing and taking financial advantage of his contacts. When he drops dead at his own gala party, everyone suspects the ambassador’s Iranian valet, Nuri Hafez—who has conveniently disappeared. But Washington Metro’s Cpt. Sal Morizio and his fellow officer, Connie Lake, are convinced there’s something far more sinister going on.

The Associated Press raved that Murder on Embassy Row moved Margaret Truman, daughter of President Harry Truman, into “the international spy genre . . . and she’s good.” This engrossing and exotic tale of mystery suspense will keep readers guessing as they enjoy a look inside the world of politics, diplomacy, and espionage.

[First published 1 June 1984; this edition 16 March 2015, 346 pages]

Murder at the FBI [6]

by Margaret Truman

The death of a special agent raises suspicions of corruption in this mystery in the “dazzling series” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

If there’s one organization you don’t want to mess with, it’s the FBI. But agents Ross Lizenby and Christine Saksis are about to rush headlong into a showdown with their own employer . . .

Special Agent George L. Pritchard was murdered on the FBI’s own shooting range, his body found hanging behind a target during a public tour of the facility. Because of the embarrassment, the FBI had to launch an investigation—but when Lizenby and Saksis are brought in on the case, they begin to suspect that the agency’s heart is not really in it. Now they must navigate the roadblocks that keep getting thrown in their way, and determine whether their ultimate loyalty is to the agency, or to the truth . . .

[First published 1 July 1985; this edition 12 March 2015, 330 pages]

Murder in Georgetown [7]

by Margaret Truman

When the corpse of a young woman is found floating down Washington’s C&O Canal, everyone is shocked to learn the victim is none other than Valerie Frolich—a senator’s daughter, Georgetown graduate, and a rising star in the cutthroat world of investigative journalism.

Washington Post reporter Joe Potamos is good at unearthing the skeletons in the nation’s capital, so when he’s assigned the Frolich story, he immediately senses this case is rife with secrets. As he digs further to uncover the truth about Valerie’s death, it soon becomes apparent someone wanted the young, beautiful reporter dead.

And when Joe’s search reveals an evil labyrinth of intrigue involving murder, bribery, kidnapping, and even international espionage, he’ll have to race to find Valerie’s killer—before his own life is snuffed out.

[First published 1 July 1986; this edition 17 May 2019, 335 pages]

Murder in the CIA [8]

by Margaret Truman

Barrie Mayer, a beautiful Washington literary agent, arrives at London's Heathrow Airport with plenty of time to make her flight to Budapest, where she's planning to meet an author. The airport is crowded, but it's not a scheduling problem that keeps Barrie from getting off the ground.

The doctors call her death a heart attack, but her best friend, Collette Cahill, has her doubts. A CIA agent herself, Collette knows that Barrie was carrying more than just contracts to Hungary. Then Collette gets the order from above: Find out what happened to Barrie. And, more important, what happened to her briefcase.

So Collette sets off on a search that will take her from London to Washington to the Caribbean, from restaurants to psychiatrists' offices to bedrooms. After all--even CIA agents lose their hearts every now and then. But Collette may lose her life. . . .

[Published 1 November 1987, 303 pages]

Murder at the Kennedy Center [9]

by Margaret Truman

The Dallas Morning News

During a gala benefit for the Democratic Party's hottest presidential hopeful at the glittering Kennedy Center, a young woman dies, a victim of quick and brutal violence. The murder weapon belongs to the candidate. The chief suspect is the candidate's son. The dynamic campaign of Senator Kenneth Ewald has collided with a tragedy that can send his son to jail--and wreck his own career.

George Washington University law professor Mac Smith comes out of the classroom to tackle a case that's bad for Senator Ewald but may prove even worse for the nation. And Smith himself marches straight into the firing line of an unscrupulous TV evangelist who gets his orders from God and a dethroned Central American dictator who takes interference from no one. . . .

[Published 1 July 1989, 352 pages]

Murder at the National Cathedral [10]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 12 September 1990, 293 pages]

Murder at the Pentagon [11]

by Margaret Truman

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....

[Published 21 April 1992, 336 pages]

Murder on the Potomac [12]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 31 May 1994, 352 pages]

Murder at the National Gallery [13]

by Margaret Truman

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.

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.

[Published 2 July 1996, 340 pages]

Murder in the House [14]

by Margaret Truman

Congressman Latham has maintained an impeccable record in Washington, and so he seems the logical choice when nominated by his friend, President Scott, to become the next secretary of state. His confirmation hearings appear to be a formality until rumors emerge of sexual misconduct and influence peddling. Then, early one morning, he is found shot to death, an apparent suicide.

Nobody close to Paul Latham believes his demise a suicide; there are just too many questions left unanswered. Why would he kill himself, and why would he do it in a public place? Why was there no suicide note? Where did he get the gun? Where is Latham's appointment secretary, Marge Edwards? So Latham's close friend lawyer-professor Mackensie Smith goes about uncovering the truth. In the process he unearths connections to the CIA, businessman Warren Brazier, Russian communists, and a shady private detective. Eventually Smith's own life is threatened, leading him to a dramatic and shocking truth.

Murder in the House is a story about the webs of influence people weave to protect their interests, and about those innocent people who, by accident or design, get caught in these webs. It is the story of the abuse of power for personal gain, and of the increasing influence that the global economy has on the way our nation is being run.

Margaret Truman, with her intricate knowledge of the political, social, and practical workings of Washington, masterfully explores these connections in this highly suspenseful tale of intrigue, deception, and murderous intent.

[Published 1 July 1997, 322 pages]

Murder at the Watergate [15]

by Margaret Truman

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

[Published 30 June 1998, 333 pages]

Murder at the Library of Congress [16]

by Margaret Truman

Margaret Truman looks inside one of D.C.'s great institutions, the Library of Congress, the place where much of the wisdom of the nation is collected, and finds blood on the floor.

Was there a second diary, beyond the one Columbus kept, describing his voyage to the New World? Leading scholars at the Library of Congress think so, and Annabel Smith, with her pre-Columbian interests, has been commissioned by the library's magazine, Civilization, to write about it.

She is not the only person interested. Word comes through the rare-books black market that a wealthy bibliophile has been offered the second diary: He'd not only pay, he'd almost kill to possess it. Starting her search in the library itself, Annabel soon finds herself competing with an ambitious TV journalist. As both women come closer to finding the hidden documents, other questions creep up. Was the murder of the library's most prominent Hispanic scholar connected to the missing diary? Further research leads them deeper into barely explored corners of the library and closer to having to face their own mortality.

Murder in familiar yet surprising surroundings- a great library- leads to a surprising conclusion in this latest Capital Crime novel.

[Published 2 November 1999, 336 pages]

Murder in Foggy Bottom [17]

by Margaret Truman

In Margaret Truman's latest mystery, the scene opens with an obscure death in Washington's Foggy Bottom, home of the State Department, shifts to mass murder in the downing of aircraft, and then moves on to mayhem in the streets of the new Moscow.

Leaving an airport near New York, a D.C.-bound commuter plane falls to earth. At almost the same time, another crash occurs. And then...

Firmly ruling out coincidence, investigators seek means and motive. The means are soon apparent: small-scale weaponry with large-scale impact. Their country of origin? A place where nearly everything--hardware, information, love--can be found for a price. Max Pauling, a State Department investigator, seasoned, good-looking, and hard to fool, quickly takes off on a trail still as warm as the smoking wreckage.

A host of vivid characters people the narrative, including a lovely State Department analyst who finds herself attracted to undercover types; a militia leader in Idaho who leads his people into gunfire; a reporter at odds with his boss but not with a good story; and a secretary of state who loves baseball slightly more than her job.

Fast-paced and informative about flying, food, statecraft, and the violent "wetwork" under the dryly elegant exterior of diplomacy, Margaret Truman's Murder in Foggy Bottom is another winner in the Capital Crimes series.

[Published 11 July 2000, 336 pages]

Murder in Havana [18]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 31 July 2001, 336 pages]

Murder at Ford's Theatre [19]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 19 November 2002, 336 pages]

Murder at Union Station [20]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 26 October 2004, 336 pages]

Murder at the Washington Tribune [21]

by Margaret Truman

From senators to summer interns, from all the president’s men to all-powerful women, Margaret Truman captures the fascinating, high-wire drama of Washington, D.C., like no other writer. Now this master of mystery fiction takes us into the capital’s chaotic fourth estate. At the big, aggressive newspaper The Washington Tribune, a young woman has been murdered. And the hunt for her killer is making sensational and lethal headlines.

The victim, fresh out of journalism school, hoped to make a splash at the Trib–and then a maintenance man found her in a supply closet, brutally strangled to death. The Trib’s journalists are at once horrified and anxious to solve the crime before the cops do, and put this scandal to rest. But the Metropolitan Police Department isn’t going to let byline-hungry reporters get in the way of its investigation, and soon enough the journalists and the cops have established warring task forces. Then a second woman is killed, in Franklin Square. Like the first, she was young, attractive, and worked in the media.

For veteran Trib reporter Joe Wilcox, whose career is mired in frustration and disappointment, the case strikes close to home. His daughter is a beautiful rising TV-news star. As his relationship with a female MPD detective grows more intimate, Joe sees a chance to renew himself as a reporter and as a man. Spearheading the Trib’s investigation, he baits a trap 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, while a police detective is bending rules for the reporter she likes and trusts but may not know as well as she thinks she does. As Joe’s daughter finds herself trapped at the heart of a frantic manhunt, the walls come down between family, friendship, ethics, and ambition–and a killer hides in plain sight.

Chilling, riveting, and richly rewarding, Murder at The Washington Tribune is a brilliant tale of real people in a world where law, power, and honesty collide–and where the punishment only sometimes fits the crime.

[Published 25 October 2005, 336 pages]

Murder at the Opera [22]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 21 November 2006, 336 pages]

Murder on K Street [23]

by Margaret Truman

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.

[Published 30 October 2007, 318 pages]

Murder Inside the Beltway [24]

by Margaret Truman

In an esteemed writing career spanning nearly three decades, Margaret Truman penned twenty-four thrilling Capital Crimes novels, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called a “dazzling series.” Now, in her crowning achievement, Murder Inside the Beltway, Truman brilliantly shows that politics can be not only dirty but downright deadly.

Rosalie Curzon, a Washington, D.C., call girl, is found bludgeoned to death in her Adams-Morgan apartment. Investigating the grisly homicide are Walt Hatcher, a tough, sour, intolerant twenty-three-year veteran of the D.C. police department; Detective Mary Hall, who, unhappy with the way women are treated on the force, is conflicted about her career; and rookie cop Matthew Jackson, an introspective young man and the product of a mixed-race marriage, whom Hatcher looks down on.

The murder scene is in a disturbing state of disarray, suggesting that Rosalie had fought to the bitter end. Then Hall discovers a video camera 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 running for reelection. His opponent, consummate politician Robert Colgate, is expected to easily defeat Pyle, whose administration has been rife with corruption and scandal. Colgate, though, is not without cracks in his slick exterior. Rumors swirl about his failing marriage and various dalliances. Moreover, there’s no love lost between the two candidates: The campaign has morphed into one of the most distasteful and nasty in memory.

Then, on a bright Saturday afternoon on the Washington Mall, the daughter of Colgate’s closest friend is kidnapped. The abduction rocks the nation’s capital, but no one is prepared for the bombshell about to hit the city, an explosive development that erupts when Detectives Hall and Jackson uncover a shocking connection between the kidnapping and the Curzon case–and a killer whom no one will see coming.

[Published 28 October 2008, 336 pages]

Monument to Murder [25]

by Margaret Truman

Times are tough in Savannah for former cop and current PI Robert Brixton, so when he agrees to take on a 20 year-old murder case, he figures he’s got nothing to lose. It’s not long before the trail leads him deep into the corrupt underbelly of Savannah’s power elite, and right into the lap of a secret government organization that’s been offing “troublesome” politicians for decades. The cold case heats up when he joins forces with former attorneys Mackensie and Annabel Lee Smith to investigate the organization and the murders they committed in the name of patriotism.

With what he knows, Brixton can bring down Washington D.C.’s leading social hostess, if not the administration itself. But can he outwit an organization that is hell-bent on keeping its secrets—secrets that go all the way back to the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy?

Margaret Truman brings us into the corridors of Washington power as only she can, where the end too often justifies the means, where good people are destroyed by those for whom the only goal is survival… whatever the cost.

[Published 5 July 2011, 368 pages]

Experiment in Murder [26]

by Donald Bain

A Washington psychiatrist is killed in a hit-and-run on the street in front of his office. Suspicion quickly focuses on one of the doctor's patients, and Mackenzie Smith is called in to defend her. Then information emerges that links the slain shrink to a highly secret CIA mind-control project.

A young man, the perfect mind control subject, is programmed to assassinate the front-runner in the U.S. presidential race. As he zeroes in on his target, other government agencies become aware of the rogue CIA program. Mac's client, the accused killer, seems to be the key to infiltrating the project―she's become the perfect spy.

But the assassin is programmed to kill anyone who threatens him or his organization―even Mac and his wife, Annabel.

[Published 27 November 2012, 368 pages]

Undiplomatic Murder [27]

by Donald Bain

Private investigator Robert Brixton has always hated Washington. Against his better judgment, he decides to stick around and take a job as an agent in a new State Department security agency headed by his former boss at the Washington P.D. After work one day he meets his youngest daughter, Janet, for a drink at an outdoor cafe. Shockingly, a young Arabic woman blows herself up, killing Janet and a dozen others. Seeking revenge for his daughter, Brixton follows the tracks of the bomber to a powerful senator's son.

Brixton finds himself digging deep into what turns out to be a small but powerful cabal whose goal is to kill embassy workers from nations involved in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

[Published 15 July 2014, 384 pages]

Internship in Murder [28]

by Donald Bain

Laura is a young intern in Washington, D.C., working for handsome and likable Congressman Hal Gannon. Laura falls for the charming Gannon, but when she catches a stewardess at Gannon's apartment, she vows to destroy him.

Private investigator Robert Brixton is a former cop who has also worked for the FBI. When Laura goes missing, Brixton is hired by Laura's family to gain insight into the case that the police might have missed.

Brixton tracks down rumors about Gannon―a staunchly moral "family advocate" according to his political position, but a womanizer according to gossip―but the congressman vehemently denies having anything untoward to do with Laura. Then Laura is found dead in the congressional cemetery, and many more questions are raised. . .

[Published 25 August 2015, 368 pages]

Deadly Medicine [29]

by Donald Bain

Donald Bain continues the beloved Capital Crimes series with Margaret Truman’s Deadly Medicine, a gripping tale of greed, betrayal―and murder.

If someone in the pharmaceutical industry came upon a cheaper, non-addictive, and more effective painkiller, would he kill for it? Washington, D.C., private detective Robert Brixton discovers the answer is a resounding “Yes,” as he helps Jayla King, a medical researcher at a small D.C. pharmaceutical firm, carry on the work of her father. Dr. Preston King’s experiments in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the discoveries he made led to his brutal murder and the theft of his papers.

Did her father’s lab assistant kill the doctor and steal his research? Is this shadowy figure prepared to kill again to keep Jayla from profiting from her father’s work? Does her recent paramour’s romantic interest reflect his true feelings―or will he sell her out and reap the rewards for himself? And to what lengths would Big Pharma’s leading lobbyist go to cover up his involvement with King’s death . . . and to protect a leading champion of the pharmaceutical industry, a Georgia senator with a shady past?

No pill can ease the pain that the answers to these questions will inflict.

[Published 7 June 2016, 384 pages]

Allied in Danger [30]

by Donald Bain

PI Robert Brixton is back in Margaret Truman's Allied in Danger, Donald Bain's next installment in the New York Times bestselling Capital Crimes series

David Portland works security for America’s British Embassy in London. His life is upended when his son Trevor dies mysteriously in Nigeria, while employed by a suspicious security/mercenary company known as SureSafe. One night, Portland sees a man in a bar wearing a bracelet―a family heirloom, which he had given his son―and attacks the man. The information he learns will send Portland down a rabbit-hole of deadly deception―one which he hopes will lead him to the truth about his son’s death.

Meanwhile, Robert Brixton, a noted Washington DC-based international investigator, has been hired to look into a fraudulent charity and a criminal warlord in Nigeria. His life and his investigations will soon become intertwined with Portland’s probe and that of his estranged, ex-wife, Elizabeth. Their interconnected cases will take Brixton to Nigeria, into that country’s Heart of Darkness and on one of the most violent and dangerous journeys of his life.

[Published 27 February 2018, 384 pages]

About the Author

Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of fifty-two books, including eleven featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. The critically acclaimed series has won more than a dozen awards, the most recent of which, Strong from the Heart, won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Best Thriller and the 2020 American Book Fest Award for Best Mystery/Suspense Novel. Additionally, he has teamed up with Heather Graham for a science fiction series that began with THE RISING (winner of the 2017 International Book Award for best Sci-fi Novel) and continues with BLOOD MOON.

He has also written six books in the Murder, She Wrote series of mysteries and has more recently taken over Margaret Truman's Capital Crimes series, beginning with Murder on the Metro in February of 2021.

A graduate of Brown University, he received the 2019 Rhode Island Authors Legacy Award for his lifetime of literary achievements. Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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