Homicide in the House
by Colleen J. Shogan
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
During a government shutdown, Kit’s congresswoman boss is found standing over the dead body of a top staffer she tangled with in front of the press. The police are about to name her as the prime suspect. The weapon was the Speaker’s gavel, an item entrusted to the congresswoman the previous night. The killer knows Kit is on the case. Can she solve the mystery in time to save her job and her life?
Absent the big commuter crowds to slow the boarding of trains, I arrived at Capitol South twenty-five minutes later. Maeve hadn’t replied. Perhaps the “trouble” had already blown over. Just in case she still needed help, I headed directly to the Cannon rotunda without stopping at the office. Reporters usually camped out inside the rotunda to shoot live cable television hits from Capitol Hill. It wasn’t as grandiose as the Capitol rotunda, but its Corinthian architecture with imposing columns did provide a stately backdrop for the camera.
I exited the elevator and walked past the famous Cannon Caucus Room, which hosted the House Un-American Committee hearings decades ago. Hearing Maeve’s voice in the distance, I followed the narrow hallway circling the rotunda. After rounding the bend, I found my boss. She wasn’t alone. Next to her was Detective O’Halloran of the Capitol Hill Police. Jack Drysdale was between them, but the Speaker’s top aide wasn’t looking so handsome this morning. Blood flowed from his head onto the pristine marble floor. If he’d generated Clarence’s Capitol Canine votes, there wouldn’t be any more favors coming my way. Jack Drysdale was dead.
Author Guest Post;
Ebooks? Friend or Foe?
Authors or readers are split about ebooks. I hear the complaints all the time at book festivals or author panels. I’m not conflicted about them. In fact, I love ebooks. I read almost exclusively on my Kindle. In the cold, in the sun – my Kindle endures. When I get tired of a book or hear about a novel I simply must read, before I know it I’m onto the next story.
By the way, as an author, the Kindle is a savior. I’m writing the third book in my series and I needed to check a detail about one of my main characters I included in my first book. I was writing during a flight, without my access to a paper copy of Stabbing in the Senate. No problem. All I needed to do was open the Kindle app on my MacBook and use the “search” function to find the exact line in question.
Here’s the common complaints I hear about ebooks and what I think privately when people say these little ditties:
I like the feel of a real book in my hands: Quite frankly, I do not understand this observation at all. For sighted people, reading is about thinking and processing words on a page. It has nothing to do with the sense of touch. Why does it matter if you’re holding a book reader or an actual book?
I can’t get used to the typeface: This one really boggles me. Kindle has designed an entire typeface (“Bookerly”) for reading ease. It is optimized for ideal consumption, and Amazon has also improved its typesetting and justifications. Ebooks look like “real” books now.
I like the idea of reading a printed book by the pool or on the beach: Couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why you want an ebook reader that’s glare resistant. iPads are great for a lot of things, but reading outside in the sunshine is not one of them. Invest in an economical ereader (Kindle Touch or NOOK Touch, for example) and you’ll be in business. Of course, you can’t drop your Kindle or Fire in the water, but I think that’s the case for paperbacks, too.
I want to support authors by buying their actual books: Thanks for the sentiment. However, I make twice the royalty percentage on ebooks than regular trade paperbacks. When it comes down to it, I’d rather sell volume in ebooks so more people are actually reading my series. Call me crazy, but the whole idea of writing books is for people to read them. I could care less if they’re downloading my books or reading them in traditional print.
Ebooks are bad for your eyesight: Sorry, this is a myth. The backlit technology actually makes using an ebook reader comparable to reading a printed book. With the latest configurations, ebook readers also can sense when the lights are off in a room and will adjust the contrast. No more keeping the nightstand lamp on while your partner struggles to fall asleep as you read. Now you can read with no external light at all.
Ebooks are a more economical way of encouraging people to read books. That’s the bottom line for me. If that were their only virtue, I’d still be a big fan. More people reading books is ultimately good for authors – and society.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She writes the Washington Whodunit series published by Camel Press. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.
Colleen J. Shogan will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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