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Murder on K Street (Capital Crimes Series #23)

Murder on K Street (Capital Crimes Series #23)

4.1 12
by Margaret Truman

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Margaret Truman

“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

Murder at the Opera

“Bestseller Truman’s twenty-second D.C. mystery [is] one of her strongest. . . . [She] widens her scope to reveal a charming supporting cast. . . . Glimpses of intelligence gathering in the Middle East lend a timely feel.”
–Publishers Weekly

Murder at The Washington Tribune

“Hooks the reader immediately.”
–The Oklahoman

Murder at Union Station

“Truman has produced another knowing look at Washington politics. She, of all people, should know her characters well, and she draws them with style.”
–The Dallas Morning News

Murder at Ford’s Theatre

“Dead-on descriptions of Washington’s most crack-ridden streets and exclusionary shindigs . . . Readers who enjoy travelogue, gossip, and social commentary in their whodunits will enjoy Murder at Ford’s Theatre.”
–USA Today

A U.S. senator's wife has been murdered, and the suspect list looks like a rogue's gallery—or, more specifically, an entire city block of Washington lobbyists. Fortunately, intrepid detective Charles Chang is on the case, sniffing out the darker side of Capitol Hill influence peddling. Another enrapturing addition to former first daughter Margaret Truman's crime series.
Library Journal

Presidential contender Sen. Lyle Simmons returns home from a political event to discover the bludgeoned body of his wife. While initial suspicion focuses on a vagrant picked up in the vicinity, highly visible lobbyist Jonell Marbury is soon linked to the crime. A second victim was last seen with Jonell, but both murder scenes look like setups to ex-attorneys Mac and Annabel Smith. Retired DA Phil Rotondi, Lyle's longtime friend and college roommate, concurs. Flashbacks to college days reveal that Phil was much closer to the victim than the senator and in possession of information that could focus the murder investigation on Jonell's crooked K Street employer. It could also prove disastrous to the senator, under suspicion himself. This 23rd Capital Crimes novel explores the relationships between special interests and politicians, both equally ruthless. While revelations of political skullduggery are fairly predictable, the book is well plotted and populated with interesting characters. A fine recording, expertly performed by Phil Gigante, elevates a competent mystery to a good listen. The absence of foul language, gore, and explicit material make this book enjoyable for listeners who object to stronger material. Recommended for all mystery collections. [The prolific Truman passed away on January 29, 2008.-Ed.]
—Janet Martin

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Capital Crimes Series , #23
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

MARGARET TRUMAN (1924-2008) won faithful readers with her works of biography and fiction, particularly her ongoing series of Capital Crimes mysteries. She was the author of many nonfiction books, including The President’s House, in which she shared some of the secrets and history of the White House, where she once resided. She passed away on January 29, 2008.

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Murder on K Street (Capital Crimes Series #23) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
SDgrandma More than 1 year ago
I thought this would complete my collection of the "Washington" Mystery Series, but find there is one more. These books are always well organized. With her knowledge of the Washington scene, I appreciate her references in many books to historical and/or little remembered events that are pertinent to the story to provide additional background to her characters. I have always liked a central character carried through a series - Mac and Annabel Smith are smart, down-to-earth, and people it would be nice to know. But also, they do not carry the whole story - other characters are intertwined with them - they bring consistency to the story line. She develops her characters well but still doesn't give away the ending until the ending.
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GailCooke More than 1 year ago
This is Truman's 23rd Capital Crimes novel so one may perhaps forgive her for offering what seemed to this listener to be a retreaded material. There's little to surprise in the story line but pleasure to be found in the reading by actor/director/producer Phil Gigante. His voice is deep, resonant, falls easily upon ears as he moves easily between characters. Our story opens with senior Senator Lyle Simmons returning home after a fundraiser. His homecoming is a shocking one as he finds his wife, Jeanette, brutally murdered. Does he call 911? Of course, not. He immediately contacts his friend and attorney, former District Attorney Philip Rotondi. After all, Simmons has presidential aspirations, and a murdered wife isn't an asset in most campaigns. Rotondi lost Jeanette to Simmons during college years and also knows that the Simmons marriage, well, while it may have been made in heaven, it was hell on earth. Now, toss in a daughter with no love for dear old dad Simmons and a passel of devious lobbyists at work, and there you have it. Easy listening - fair to middlin' story line. - Gail Cooke
FootballRN More than 1 year ago
Another good mystery in the Capitol Crimes series. Interesting characters. Twisting plots. Good read.
ErmaM More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Margaret Truman's style. It's an easy read with which to escape. Her characters are individual and the story moves. It's a nice "cozy."
lucayaKC More than 1 year ago
Characters and plot are well developed.
harstan More than 1 year ago
U.S. Senator Lyle Simmons is considered by the pundits as one of the leading candidates for president. However, he soon has a different problem outside of politics to deal with when he comes home following a fundraiser. His wife Jeanette lies on the floor of their foyer someone brutally murdered her. Capital Police Detective Charles Chang leads the official investigation with the media spotlight following every step he makes.----------------- Clues send Chang in the direction of K Street where the senior senator from Illinois has close ties with lobbyists who provide him with plenty of campaign funding. However Chang also finds the street is close lipped to outsiders, even cops on official inquiries and corruption and lies are the norm. Under the press¿ persistent digging, the perfect Simmons¿s marriage suddenly has cracks and holes that make it look as if it was tied together by White House ambition only. Meanwhile Simmons¿s friend, retired detective Phil Rotondi wonders whether he should come clean with what he knows about the relationship between Lyle and Jeanette although he admits to himself he still has sour grapes having lost her to him when they attended college together.--------------- When the story line focuses on K Street, readers obtain an interesting look at how much influence is bought and sold as there is a lobbying stock market selling and buying specialized commodities. However, the constant flashbacks to college are a distraction that slows down the present murder mystery, which is too bad as this Capital Crimes entry had possibilities for an insightful relevant thriller if the plot concentrated on MURDER ON K STREET.---------- Harriet Klausner