Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review for Stabbing in the Senate by Colleen J. Shogan

Stabbing in the Senate
By Colleen J. Shogan
Washington Whodunit, Book 1

Publisher:  Camel Press
Release Date: November 15, 2015
Genre: Mystery/Female Sleuth
Length: 236 Pages
ISBN: 9781603813310

Buy Links:  AmazonB&NKoboChaptersB-A-MiTunesOmnilit

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.

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.

A dead senator, a soon to be jobless staffer, and plenty of political intrigue take the stage in Stabbing in the Senate, the first book in author Colleen J. Shogan’s Washington Whodunit series.  Colorful characters, an intriguing murder mystery and a short inside look at life in D.C., had me turning the pages from start to finish.  If you like amateur female sleuths or politics, this is a book you’re going to want to check out.

Ms. Shogan does a good job introducing us to her main character, Kit Marshall, a policy staffer in a U.S. senator’s office.  Having volunteered during the senator’s re-election campaign against a younger, ambitious rival, Kit’s payoff was a job in D.C., where she would not only get to use her education to make a difference, she would also get to continue developing her romantic relationship with Doug, her college boyfriend, now a professor at Georgetown.  Everything is going according to plan almost four years later when Kit walks into her boss’s office early and discovers him dead.  Thinking he might still be alive, she pulls the murder weapon out of his chest and finds temporarily finds herself the primary suspect in his death.  Determined to prove herself innocent before being a suspect tanks her future job prospects and her romance with Doug, Kit enlists the help of her best friend and co-worker Meg and both ladies begin their own private investigation into the senator’s death.

I really liked Kit’s character; she’s smart, loyal, determined to make a difference by serving her boss the best way she can and overall a likeable person.  I also liked Meg, her co-worker and best friend, who is outgoing, socially savvy and also loyal.  Both women would make great friends in real life.  Ms. Shogan also does a good job with the other secondary characters and I particularly enjoyed getting to know Trevor, the office grouch who turned out to be much more observant than either woman gave him credit for, Doug, Kit’s boyfriend, who is both super intelligent and financially lucky (his family is very wealthy and he has a trust fund), and Detective O’Halloran, the primary office assigned to the senator’s death.  Overall, Ms. Shogan did a great job with the characters.

The mystery is interesting on its own, after all it’s not like you can just walk into a senator’s office with a weapon and commit a murder.  The villain of the story had to have the opportunity, the smarts to time everything just right and obviously a touch of insanity to even want to resort to murder.  The investigation took several twists and turns and there were plenty of people who had motive, accessibility, and enough narcissism to do the job.  My only real problem with the story was its pace; it was somewhat uneven, it started out fairly quickly paced, got bogged down a bit in the middle, and then quickly sped to the end.  I do believe that this is something that will more than likely be resolved in future books in the series as Ms. Shogan develops her author’s voice further.  The identity of the killer was a complete surprise though, which is something I liked because I was kept guessing until the very end.   

Will Kit and Meg discover who killed their senator?  Will Kit become a potential target for the killer?  And what will Kit do once she becomes officially unemployed?  You’ll have to read Stabbing in the Senate to find out.  I enjoyed it and can’t wait to dive into Homicide in the House, the next book in this series.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review.  The review is my opinion of the reading material provided. 

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