K Street Killing, by Colleen J. Shogan: A Tycoon Takes a Deadly Tumble

K Street Killing ($15.95, 242 pages, 5 x 8 Trade Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-60381-613-7) is the fourth book in A Washington Whodunit series by Colleen J. Shogan. When a Capitol Hill fundraising soiree ends with a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbling off the rooftop, congressional staffer Kit Marshall must find the killer before her boss’s the election season derails.

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“With a breezy writing style that included lots of interesting tidbits and history about places and events in Washington DC this novel was fun and easy to read.” —Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

“The mystery is perplexing—for Kit and company, and for me—and well done. I was impressed by the complexity of the murder plot. I enjoyed the political theme, and all the details about lobbyists.” —Jane Reads

“To someone who has mastered that uniquely Washington skill of bobbling two cell phones and a glass of wine without spilling a drop, solving a murder is practically child’s play.” —HillRag

“Shogan, a senior executive at the Library of Congress who teaches American politics at Georgetown University, bolsters her tale with an insider’s knowledge of the ways of Washington.” —Publishers Weekly

“This delightful cozy mystery is a bit different since it is set in the political world of Washington, DC rather than a small whimsical town, but it definitely has an interesting cast. […] It was fascinating to learn about the maneuverings and legalities involved with fundraising and lobbyists and I obtained a new perspective and new knowledge about the roles various folks play and some of the lines that theoretically regulate their duties and actions.” —The Reading Addict

“The fourth volume in author Colleen J. Shogan’s simply outstanding ‘Washington Whodunit’ series, K Street Killing is a consistently entertaining read with many an unexpected twist and turn by a true master of the genre.”
—Midwest Book Review

Reviewers have loved the other books in the series:

Calamity at the Continental Club: “Readers who enjoy American history will appreciate this light mystery, including tours of Mount Vernon, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian.” —Lesa Holstine for Library Journal

Homicide in the House: “Shogan does a good job depicting the creaky, squeaky wheels of government, and Marshall plays politics and sleuth with equal dexterity in this capital Capitol Hill mystery.” —Publishers Weekly

Stabbing the Senate: “Loads of inside scoop about the workings of Senate offices—complete with all the gossiping, back-stabbing, and procedural maneuvering—plus an appealing young sleuth, sprightly pacing, and an edge-of-your-seat showdown on the Hart-Dirksen underground train.” —Literary Hill

It’s the height of campaign season, and instead of relishing newlywed bliss with her husband Doug Hollingsworth, Capitol Hill staffer Kit Marshall is busy with a tough reelection fight for her boss, member of Congress Maeve Dixon. Before Maeve and her staff—Kit included—leave Washington, D.C. to campaign full time in North Carolina, they have one last fundraising engagement.

On the iconic rooftop of a restaurant overlooking the Capitol and the Washington monument, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for sizable campaign donations. Everyone’s enjoying the evening soiree until a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop. Even with claims the fall must be suicide, Detective Maggie Glass and Kit aren’t so easily convinced the truth is so simple.

While balancing Doug’s mid-life career crisis, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon’s candidacy sputters, even if it means investigating Meg’s handsome new beau, the victim’s conniving widow, and a bicycle advocate hell-bent on settling a long-standing grudge. When a threatening note is left on Kit’s car, warning her to back off the investigation, Kit knows she’s closing in on the K Street killer.

Says Shogan, “Years ago, I worked for a senator locked in a tight reelection fight. I never forgot what it was like to work on the Hill during that long, hot summer. K Street Killing throws a murder into the mix for congressional sleuth extraordinaire Kit Marshall.”

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 here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Meg gave me a two-fingered salute. “No worries, boss.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you in the office tomorrow,” I said. “Hopefully we can wrap up any loose odds and ends this week before we hit the campaign trail.”

“Got it.” Accompanied by a look of genuine concern, she added, “Kit, try to get some rest, okay?”

I nodded. Meg turned around and ran right into Dash, who had approached her from behind. She’d whipped around with her almost full wineglass, which teetered and then spilled on the floor.

“I’m so sorry,” sputtered Dash. He grabbed a napkin and started dabbing at Meg’s blazer, now collateral damage. I waited for the inevitable explosion. It was hard to say what designer Meg was wearing. Her couture trended toward the sophisticated, particularly for Capitol Hill standards. Today she was wearing a dark blue Navy-inspired jacket with a tan pencil skirt. Whatever the label, I knew it wasn’t bargain basement leftovers. Meg prided herself on her clothes, almost treating her outfits as children. Dash had no idea what he’d just done.

My best friend’s eyes protruded, and she clenched her fists. I braced myself for Mount Saint Meg to erupt. But instead, a minor miracle transpired before my eyes. After taking a deep breath, Meg said, “Don’t worry, Dash. I’m sure the dry cleaners can fix it.”

My jaw dropped faster than Donald Trump’s approval ratings. Had I witnessed Meg letting Dash off the hook?

Dash flashed a thousand-watt smile and put his arm around Meg. “Thanks for being so understanding, babe.”

That was my cue to depart. “See you tomorrow, Meg.”

“I’ll follow you out,” she said. “I’d better go to the ladies’ room. I can’t let this red wine stain set on my jacket.”

“Good idea.” Dash picked up her now empty wineglass. “I’ll make sure you get a refill for our romantic stroll on the patio.”

Barf. Were Doug and I this annoying when we first started dating? I hoped not.

We walked off together, and I stopped at the elevator. I couldn’t resist adding a few cautionary words. “Remember, you’re still on duty. We have other donors here besides Dash.”

Meg crossed her arms. “You don’t have to remind me, Kit. I’m a professional.”

“I know,” I said. “Have fun and see you tomorrow.”

Inside the elevator, I checked the time. It was eight o’clock. Final votes were starting. I doubted Maeve needed any help, but I flipped my phone off silent mode, so I could hear it ping in case she texted me.

I could either walk two blocks to Union Station or catch an Uber home. My mind shuffled through the cost benefit analysis. I’d shelled out more cash this summer for late night rides home than I cared to remember. On the other hand, the subway was slow and unpredictable. Years of mismanagement, safety violations, and inadequate funding had made the Metro the bane of every Washingtonian’s existence. Remembering that Doug wanted to talk to me about something, I opened the Uber app. My ride was scheduled to arrive in three minutes at the corner of First and Louisiana.

I caught up with today’s news as I waited. Finally, a Camry arrived with the license plate matching my driver’s car. He slowed as I waved him down. As I opened the rear passenger door, I heard spine-tingling screams behind me. My hand froze on the door handle. Without thinking, I spun around. Two older women were standing at the entrance of a narrow passageway that separated Charlie Palmer’s from the building directly behind it. I didn’t have to move to figure out the source of their bloodcurdling cries. Near the far end of the alley, a body was sprawled on the pavement.

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