Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on July 29, 2016

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Homicide in the House (Washington Whodunit)
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Camel Press (June 15, 2016)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813334


Kit Marshall has bounced back from her first brush with the law, when she was suspected of murdering her senator boss. Now she is working for a freshman congresswoman, Maeve Dixon, a young Gulf War veteran representing North Carolina. It’s February, and Kit is feeling out of sorts. A government shutdown has just been announced, wreaking havoc on the Hill, and Dan, Dixon’s chief of staff and Kit’s supervisor, is an inexperienced lightweight flying blind. Then there’s Kit’s distracted live-in boyfriend, Doug, who doesn’t seem any closer to popping the question. Kit’s best friend Meg is up to her eyeballs with her new beau and oversight committee job, and Clarence the beagle mix will certainly not win Capitol Canine if Meg has to campaign for him all by herself. Bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse.

Early one morning Representative Dixon is caught standing over the corpse of Jack Drysdale, the Speaker of the House’s top staffer, a man she argued with in front of the press the day before. The murder weapon was the Speaker’s gavel. This item was entrusted to Dixon at the time, leading the police to believe they’ve found their killer. To save her job, Kit must clear her boss’s name, and quickly. Dixon’s career may be over if the police declare her a suspect or an anonymous blogger known as Hill Rat breaks the story. Solving this murder will test Kit’s courage and all her fledgling powers of deduction as she roams a spooky, sparsely populated Capitol Hill looking for clues and sounding out suspects.


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Guest Post

Eating My Way Through “Homicide in the House”

The Washington Whodunit mystery series is no stranger to good food. A variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars are huddled along a condensed Pennsylvania Avenue corridor next to the Library of Congress and House of Representatives office buildings. If the weather is decent, those sidewalks are packed by noontime with hungry federal government workers, congressional staff, lobbyists, Members of Congress, and curious tourists.

It was a breeze writing about the various eating establishments patronized by Kit and Meg in Homicide in the House. After all, I’m a frequent customer. There are some cool tidbits worth mentioning about several places prominently featured in my book.

Tortilla Coast: In Homicide, Kit and Meg come here to commiserate after the government shuts down. They munch on burritos, fajitas, and tasty tortilla chips.  Many people do not know that current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, worked at Tortilla Coast as a server in the early 1990s. It really does prove that Washington, DC is a town premised upon the ability to rise quickly amongst the ranks!

Pete’s Diner: The no-frills diner right across from Library’s Madison Building (where I work) is legendary for its matter-of-fact service and low prices. In Homicide, Kit meets Trevor there for breakfast and he urges her to engage in some clever sleuthing to uncover an important clue about the murder weapon. In real life, former Speaker of the House John Boehner was a huge fan of Pete’s. Speaker Boehner routinely ate there for breakfast, often wearing jeans and a baseball cap. He favored the eggs and sausage platter.

Tune Inn: This dive bar is perhaps the most infamous place featured in the book. No, the victim in the book didn’t die from food poisoning. But Kit does have a fateful conversation here right before she solves the mystery. The Tune Inn has been a Capitol Hill institution for more than sixty years, serving up beer-battered burgers, Joe’s special roast beef sandwich, and fried pickles. Guy Fieri gave it a “thumbs up” when his Food Network show came here for a visit. Others who have dined here? There are too many members of Congress to mention. Former Attorney General Janet Reno reportedly liked the Tune Inn for its breakfast fare and burgers. Political strategist James Carville brought Mary Matalin here on their first date, as legend goes. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is also a big fan. One of the only unpretentious bars in Washington, DC couldn’t be ignored in Homicide in the House.

If you’re in Washington to visit, be sure to make it a point to visit these fun and historic restaurants on Capitol Hill.  Tell them that Kit Marshall sent you!

About the Author

colleen shoganColleen J. Shogan is a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is the former deputy director of the Congressional Research Service and previously served as a staffer in the United States Senate. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American government at Georgetown University, Penn, and George Mason. Colleen is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Boston College and her doctorate from Yale. A member of Sisters in Crime, she lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt, Conan. Her first book, Stabbing in the Senate, won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery in 2016.

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