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Stabbing in the SenateScene from the POV of the main character, Kit MarshallStabbing in the Senate©Colleen J. ShoganKara hit a button on her telephone headset to mute her current call. I was sitting next to her desk, waiting to talk to my boss, Senator Lyndon Lansford. The office scheduler pointed toward my boss’s office door. “You can go inside, now Kit. You’ve got five minutes.” Just in case I hadn’t heard her, she held up five fingers.“Got it.” I grabbed my notebook and zipped into Langsford’s enclave. The view of the Capitol Building behind him always got me. It was a beautiful summer day, although looks were often deceiving in Washington, D.C. It was over ninety degrees outside. Better to admire the landscape from the air-conditioned inner sanctum of the Hart Senate Office Building.“Have a seat.” Langsford motioned for me to sit down in one of his high-backed chairs. Personally, I preferred the couch, but congressional staffers do as they are told.“Senator, Kara appeared at my cubicle and said you wanted to see me.”Langsford took off his glasses and closed his eyes, taking a brief respite before launching into the reason why he summoned me to his lair. The grey around his temples had multiplied in the last several months. A good portion of that aging was due to his recent penchant: causing political trouble within our nation’s greatest deliberative body.“It’s time to move on the Carter Power decision, Kit.”I gulped nervously. For the past several months, Senator Langsford and I had been working on a difficult issue concerning military appropriations. His good friend, Senator Jonas Regan, had asked him to support funding for Carter Power, which hailed from Regan’s home state of California. But Senator Langsford and I had done our homework, and we were convinced the company wasn’t a good bargain for the Pentagon. Because the military contract was so expensive, Langsford was wavering about whether to help his friend or save taxpayer dollars.“You’re right, sir. The vote may come up in committee later this week. If that’s the case, you’ll want to defend your decision publicly.”Langsford rubbed his chin thoughtfully. He hadn’t gotten to his impressive station in life without scratching other people’s backs along the way. He was no ingenue. Opposing Regan had its political consequences. Besides, Regan was a pal, although Harry Truman once famously said that those who wanted a friend in Washington, D.C. should get a dog.Langsford stared into space for a few moments. Kara, who managed the senator’s schedule down to the last minute, appeared in the office. She said in a loud voice, “Your next appointment is here.” Then she pointed to the watch on her wrist.Langsford nodded. “Give us one more minute.” Kara’s interruption brought him out of his daze.“Let’s do it, Kit. We’ll move forward as planned.”I was almost positive I understood, but a decision as important as this required clarification. “You mean voting against Carter Power?”“Yes. Provide me with a summary memo with arguments from both sides. Be sure to get the relevant statistics and dollar figures correct. We don’t want to issue a press release announcing my decision with the wrong facts.”“Will do, Senator. When would like to have the memo?”Langsford stood up and put on his suit jacket. Likely a bevy of constituents from Massachusetts were waiting his arrival with baited breath, and they didn’t like to see their Senator not looking the part. “The end of the day or early tomorrow morning at the latest.”
After giving him the thumbs up signal, I scuttled out of his office and back to my cubicle to pen the most important missive of my congressional career. Little did I know it would be the last memo he’d ever receive.
By Colleen J. Shogan
A Washington Whodunit, Book 1
Publisher: Camel Press
Release Date: November 15, 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 236 pages
E-Book ASIN: B017CBHTOE
E-Book ASIN: B017CBHTOE
About the book:
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.
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.
Webpage – colleenshogan.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit
Twitter – twitter.com/cshogan276