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Review of cozy mystery Lethal Legacies by Colleen J. Shogan

cover of Lethal Legacies by Colleen J. Shogan

It’s springtime in Washington, D.C. and congressional staffer Kit Marshall has more on her plate than she can handle. With her boss campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat, Kit is left to run the office in her absence and manage a new weeklong American history extravaganza filled with high-profile events, lectures, and receptions.

When the Director of the Capitol Visitor’s Center ends up dead, Kit springs into action to clear a longtime friend, who becomes the prime suspect in the murder. With her best pal Meg pressuring her to solve the mystery quickly, Kit must figure out how to navigate her closest relationships while keeping an eye out for the diabolical killer.

The investigation takes Kit across the city to famous locations, including Georgetown University, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the White House. The cast of characters include two prickly historians, an ambitious congressional colleague who views Kit as a professional rival, a perky intern, and a smarmy high-ranking bureaucrat.

When the killer strikes a second time, the pressure to solve the crimes intensifies. Has our favorite Capitol Hill sleuth finally met her match? In the end, Kit learns the hard way that history tends to repeat itself, often with deadly consequences.

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Excerpt from Lethal Legacies

We walked down the aisle of the tent and arrived at the viewing area of the catafalque. There was a ten-foot perimeter around the display, marked by brass stanchions and red velvet rope. Even without stepping over the barrier, it was apparent that something was underneath the black funeral cloth covering the catafalque.

Meg spoke in a shaky voice. “What’s lying on the catafalque?”

I bit the inside of my lip. “I don’t know. Should I get the police officer?”

We looked back toward the entrance of the tent. If he was still there, it wasn’t obvious.

“Someone could be playing a cruel hoax,” said Meg.

Relief instantly washed over me. “You’re right. It might be a clever trick.”

“Are you going to . . .” Meg pointed at the catafalque. “Check it out?” Guests would be arriving soon for the display. We needed to remove whatever was underneath the cloth so it would be ready for visitors by nine o’clock.

“This is ridiculous,” I said, with more confidence than I felt. “I don’t have time for practical jokes.”

I unhooked the red velvet rope from the stanchion and walked up to the catafalque. After taking a deep breath, I pulled back the black broadcloth. All I needed to see was the brown cascading hair before pulling my hand back. This was no hoax. There was a dead

body resting on the Lincoln funeral stand.

My Review of Lethal Legacies

Love me a good cozy mystery. This is the second book in this series I’ve read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very cool to see some of Washington D.C. without having to go there. I’m a wonderful “kitchen chair” traveler (which is like an armchair traveler who reads at the table while eating breakfast). Politics seems complicated enough without murder, and I feel very bad for all these staffers.

I liked seeing the political struggle from the other side. It’s an adventure and a half as a voter right now, and watching campaigners have insecurities while they go up against people who’s only experience is making a good commercial…I don’t want to get in to the political games or who should or shouldn’t run for office/what America needs. But this book is a good reminder that politics are, as I said, complicated and that many (but clearly not all) politicians just want to do right by the people, something that gets lost in today’s atmosphere.

All in all, great book, great series. Highly recommend.

About Colleen J. Shogan

author Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first novel one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at numerous universities, including Georgetown. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is now a Senior Vice President at the White House Historical Association, located on historic Lafayette Square.

Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. “Larceny at the Library” was the IPPY bronze medalist for best mystery.


Colleen J. Shogan will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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18 thoughts on “Review+Giveaway: Lethal Legacies by Colleen J. Shogan

  1. Thank you for sharing your review of Lethal Legacies, I love the cover and the synopsis and excerpt have intrigued me, this sounds like a must read book and series for me and I am looking forward to it

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