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.
About the Author
Colleen J. Shogan is the deputy director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress. She is a former Senate staffer who started reading mysteries at the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American government at George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. Stabbing in the Senate is her first novel. For more information, please go to: colleenshogan.com.
Read an Excerpt
I had followed the police officer out of the bathroom and was headed toward the office when a swarm descended on me. Flashes of light blazed across the dimly lit hallway, and someone shoved a microphone close to my mouth. Frowning, I blinked to avoid the bright flickers. When my eyes adjusted, I found myself in the middle of an old-fashioned Washington, D.C., press assault. Questions flew in staccato rapid fire:
"What's your name?"
"Why did you murder Senator Langsford?"
"Are you having an affair with the senator?"
"How many years have you worked for him?"
"What weapon did you use?"
How did the press learn so quickly a salacious story was brewing? I might have been delusional, because I thought I caught a glimpse of Matt Drudge in the crowd that assaulted me.
My police escort whisked me away quickly, but not before the damage had been done. Maybe if I could clear up what happened with the police, no one would run with the story. That hope was delusional, too.
Back in the safety of the office, Vivian, the senator's wife--now his widow--had arrived. Her gray hair was perfectly styled and she was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, matching handbag in tow. Vivian was a hard woman to understand. Always polite with the senator's staff, she had given us no obvious reason to dislike her, but we still did. She wasn't overtly interested in legislation or policy, but was invested, literally and figuratively, in her husband's political career. For more than twenty years she had been the wife of a senator. Independently wealthy, she had funded Langsford's initial run for elected office and had kept the money flowing ever since.
The rumor around the office was she wanted Langsford to finish his current term in office, retire, and then accept a lucrative job with a lobbying firm on K Street. Vivian had played her part well during the many years of public service. Now, she wanted a big payout.
Langsford had given no indication he was willing to grant Vivian her wish. All senators possessed a healthy ego, and Langsford was no exception. The prospect of growing the family fortune did not motivate him. In fact, he relished his new role as a political maverick. He also liked the attention it attracted. Sources within the office reported that if he thought he could win reelection, then he would run for office again, whether Vivian liked it or not.
I took a long look at Vivian. Never rumpled, she always looked as if she'd just stepped off the cover of Vogue. Now was no exception. It took a moment to register what was bothering me. Her face showed expected signs of strain; her brow was appropriately furrowed. Sniffling, she used a monogrammed "V" handkerchief to dab at her eyes and nose.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good mystery. Wordiness made it plodding.
Colleen J. Shogan in her new book, “Stabbing in the Senate” Book One in the Washington Whodunit series published by Camel Press introduces us to Kit Marshall. From the back cover: 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. “Stabbing in the Senate” hits the ground running and actually begins to pick up speed, rocketing along against a vivid physical and cultural Washington, D.C. landscape populated with true-to-life characters. Somebody killed Senator Langsford and they think that Kit did it. So now, with the help of her friend, Meg, Kit is running around Washington sorting through clues looking to solve this case. “Stabbing in the Senate” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. I think Ms. Shogan has given us an excellent mystery and this is a terrific way to begin the series! And I am already looking forward until the next book in this series comes out. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Camel Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Washington intrigue written in cozy mystery style, STABBING IN THE SENATE is a wonderful beginning to a promising new series. When I first saw this book I wasn’t sure if it would be like the cozies I read and review. While it surely isn’t a small town story, my worries were unfounded. STABBING IN THE SENATE is an amazing mystery that fans of all mysteries, no matter the sub-genre, can and will enjoy. I really enjoyed getting to know Protagonist Kit Marshall very much. She felt very real to me. I’m looking forward to learning more about her, and the rest of the characters from the series in future installments. From the discovery of the body, through pages and chapters of intrigue, to the action packed reveal and take down of the killer, I was totally engrossed in this stellar mystery! The Washington Whodunit series has a solid place on my bookshelves. So, author Shogan, please keep them coming!
This book was a very good start to a new series. I really enjoyed this author's writing style. In fact I could not put this book down and read it in two days. You can tell that the author has used her experience as a Senate staffer to write this book. Her attention to detail was very good. I really liked Kit but I have to say that sometimes her friend Meg annoyed me. I can't wait to read more about their adventures in the upcoming books in this series. As well as I would like to see how Kit and Doug's relationship plays out. I am not sure I could work in the senate as it sure sounds like a dog eat dog kind of world. I did not figure out who killed Senator Langsford until the end of the story, which I like as it keeps you reading. Looking forward to more books in this series.
Dollycas’s Thoughts This is an excellent whodunit! Kit Marshall’s life is good. She lives with her wealthy boyfriend and they share a lovable beagle named Clarence. She works for Senator Lyndon Langsford and her boyfriend works mostly from home. They have what I would call a very comfortable relationship. Kit was unable to present a memo to Senator Langsford yesterday so she goes in early to work to insure that he has it before a very important committee meeting. She is surprised that her boss has beaten her to work. He is in his chair with his back to her but he isn’t responding to her at all. She moves forward and realizes she is not being ignored, the Senator has been stabbed. She rushes to help him but she is too late. Things spiral out of control from there as people start to arrive and she has the murder weapon in her hands. I was really impressed with this very smart story. The author is a former Senate staffer so she is writing what she knows, less the murder, I hope. :) Kit works with her friend Meg and together they become this dynamic duo trying to find out who killed their very popular boss and if it had anything to do with an upcoming vote. This part really rang true for me. With the gridlock in Congress I am surprised there aren’t more dead bodies. In this story there are plenty of people who could have killed the man. From his wife, to an important lobbyist, members of Congress and even his staff. They are so many twists that at one point I was completely confused, it could have been anyone, except Kit, of course. I figured it out right along with Kit, the way it’s supposed to be. We leave Kit ready to start a new job and I hope it won’t be too long until we hear all about it. You know someone’s going to die…