The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.'s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall's upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston's crowd.
Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug's father.
Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit's sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws' freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.
Book 3 of the Washington Whodunit series, which began with Stabbing in the Senate and continued with Homicide in the House.
About the Author
Colleen J. Shogan has been a fan of mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, she is a senior executive at the Library of Congress where she works on great programs like the National Book Festival. A proud member of Sisters in Crime, Colleen won a Next Generation Indie Award in the Best Mystery category for her first novel Stabbing in the Senate. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt Conan. For more information, go to colleenshogan.com.
Read an Excerpt
Doug was conked out. I dressed quickly in my exercise clothes and grabbed the room key card before quietly closing the door. I skipped down two flights of stairs and arrived at the floor where we'd had dinner the night before. As I turned the corner past an antique grandfather clock, I spotted the portrait on the wall of Gertrude Harper, the granddaughter of the original mansion proprietors. I was no art historian, but I'd read that the Vermeer-influenced Frank Weston Benson had painted the comely twenty-four-year-old at the turn of the century. The National Gallery of Art owned the original oil painting, which had been on display in prominent places such as the vice-president's residence and the National Portrait Gallery. With no chance of acquiring the masterpiece, the Continental Club had commissioned an impressive reproduction.
I'd planned to examine the portrait last night. Impressionism, even the American version, was my favorite period of art. We hadn't lingered in the anteroom before or after dinner, so I'd given the painting no more than a passing glance.
Now I walked toward the mantelpiece to take a closer look. Gertrude really had been a beautiful young woman. The websites detailing the history of the building and the club hadn't exaggerated her enchanting smile and the long strokes used to depict her flowing white dress. She was the Continental Club's Mona Lisa.
My Fitbit buzzed, its annoying way of reminding me it was time to get moving. Somehow Gertrude Harper had managed to remain slim without jogging around Dupont Circle. I wasn't so fortunate.
I turned away from her portrait to head back toward the main staircase. In the far corner of the room near the entrance to the club's library, I spotted a man's dress shoe. How odd. The Continental Club wasn't the type of place where patrons had one too many glasses of wine and lost their footwear en route to bed. That went double for the Mayflower Society crowd who occupied the vast majority of suites inside the building.
Curiosity got the better of me. The library entrance was adjacent to another Continental Club treasure I'd wanted to check out, the bronze bust of Benjamin Franklin. During the Second World War, when the club met inside Dolley Madison's former house, the Franklin statue adorned the room where key discussions about nuclear fission and the atomic bomb took place. Now it resided on a perfectly engineered pedestal in front of a prominent arched window, inviting photographers strolling along the nearby street to take advantage of the striking profile it provided when the light was just right.
I didn't get much of a chance to admire Franklin or read the detailed inscription at the base of the statue. A guest who'd unwisely overindulged hadn't abandoned his shoe the night before. Instead, the shoe belonged to a man whose body lay flat on the floor of the library.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
---4.5 Stars--- Murder has found Kit once again! This time the case is striking close to home as the prime suspect is her future father-in-law! With her fiancé, Doug, her friends Meg and Trevor, and her dog Clarence in tow – Kit is out to solve another murder mystery and clear her soon be father-in-law’s name! This book was such a fun, exciting, and intriguing whodunit mystery book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and solving the case alongside Kit! This book has such wonderful characters! They are well-developed, likable, and genuine. They have great personalities that intertwine and play well off each other! This book has excellent mystery crime solving structure with enough clues and excitement to keep you interested and guessing, but still practical and realistic in police procedures. This book was fast paced and keeps you engaged and entertained through the last page! I love visiting Washington D.C., so I really enjoyed reading a book set there. It was easy to picture many of the locations having been there before, like the Smithsonian Museum and the National Archives Museum, along with others that I haven’t, as they were vividly described. I love a great mystery book and this book totally fits the bill! This book is book three in the Washington Whodunit Book Series. Although, this book is part of a book series, it can absolutely be read on its own as a standalone. All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and it kept me completely entertained! I would absolutely recommend this book to fellow mystery book fans! This book and series is definitely one you don’t want to miss out on! I will definitely be checking out Colleen’s other two books in this series and look forward to read about Kit’s next big adventure! **Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**
Dollycas’s Thoughts Congress is in recess and Doug’s parents, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are in town for a meeting of the Mayflower Society. They have invited Kit and Doug to join them at the Continental Club for a couple of days in hopes of getting a firm wedding date set and to get started planning the expected high society event. Buffy is the one worried about the wedding, Winston’s mind is on becoming the next president of the Mayflower Society. Wedding plans take a backseat when the current Mayflower Society president, Grayson Bancroft’s, body is found by Kit before she heads out for her morning run. Police check all the security cameras and they see no one coming in or going out of any of the club exits. That means the killer has to be someone staying at the club, like Winston Hollingsworth. He wanted Grayson’s job and he didn’t make it a secret. Both Doug and Buffy have asked Kit to investigate and pledged to help her in any way they can. So she calls in Meg and Trevor to help her track down the killer. Even her dog Clarence makes a vital assist. Readers follow Kit and her friends all over D.C. as they chase down clues to prove Winston’s innocence and try to catch the killer. It is quite a clever tale. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence against her future father-in-law and his only alibi is Buffy. Ms. Shogan has filled this story with many twists that keep the plot moving right along. The subplot romance between Doug and Kit and dealing with his parents brings humor to the story. All four characters evolve over the course of the story. I didn’t like Buffy at first but by the end she was starting to grow on me. I really enjoyed getting away from the Capitol to a new D.C. location. Even though she didn’t have much clout in the place Kit was determined to make the police listen to her. The way the mystery played out was logical and pure Kit. She can be quite convincing and with Meg by her side pretty funny too. The way the author sets each scene gives us the treat of virtually “seeing” not only the Continental Club, but the Smithsonian and the National Archives. She and Doug even take a quick tour of Mount Vernon, a place our family visited in the late 90’s. Her words transported right back there. Each story in this series tops the last, all 3 are great reads. As before Colleen Shogan’s knowledge of D.C. shines brightly in this story and again I didn’t want the story to end even though I loved the ending.
I’ve heard it said, things happen in threes. This third book in the Washington Whodunit Mysteries proves that those three things can be good. But if author Colleen J. Shogan keeps writing them like this, three will only be the beginning! I’m not sure anymore if this series falls under “cozy” mystery or not, but I the only fiction I read is in the cozy mystery genre. Yes, this series takes place in Washington DC, but it has a small town vibe when reading it. Let’s going with calling it a tradition mystery. As with the first two books in this series, CALAMITY AT THE CONTINENTAL CLUB is a brilliant mystery. Author Shogan knows how to hold her readers’ attention that’s for certain. Each chapter brought with it more questions, intrigue, and twists and turns. With protagonist Kit Marshall becoming braver with each book, she took some chances that had me holding my breath. This fast moving, from cover to cover read, leads to a great reveal and a very satisfying conclusion. I’m already looking forward to book four!
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit) by Colleen J. Shogan is a murder mystery novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy clean murder mysteries without explicit sexual content or violence. The Mayflower Society’s annual meeting is coming up and that means Kit Marshall and her fiancé Doug Hollingsworth will be receiving a visit from Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, who are urging the couple to have a high society wedding. The plans for impending matrimony are put on hold when the leader of the Mayflower Society turns up dead and the prime suspect is Doug’s father, Winston Hollingsworth. Will Kit and her friends be able to solve the murder and absolve Doug’s father of murder, or will he have to resign himself to life in prison? Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit) by Colleen J. Shogan is the third novel in the series, yet I liked the fact that it was also able to stand on its own. I was able to read and enjoy it without having read the first two books in the series. The characters of Kit Marshall and her fiancé Doug Hollingsworth were the two most developed characters in the book, but the author did not skimp on giving the other characters their own personalities, life stories, and interests. The book truly began to pull me in when Kit found Grayson Bancroft’s corpse as that was the moment when the book became more mysterious and less dramatic. The murder and the subsequent investigation were kept most clean, which was a nice change from the over use of violence and gore in most murder mysteries. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would be interested in going back and reading the first two books in the series.