Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beach Read: MONUMENT TO MURDER, by Margaret Truman

Out of all the books stacked in my real and virtual TBR (that’s To Be Read) pile, this is the one I pulled out to read while the winds and rain if Hurricane Irene raged outside my window.  So tucked up in a cozy chair, with the words on the page illuminated by the meager rays from my Itty Bitty Book Light, I lost myself in the word of political intrigue and murder.  It was a great way to spend the day!   

Book Title: Monument to Murder, A Capital Crimes Novel, by Margaret Truman
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Setting:  Savannah, GA and Washington, DC
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  365
Publication date:  2011
Publisher:  FORGE, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, NY
Favorite Passage: 

Beach Read Rating:  4 (out of 5) Beach Umbrellas

Review: You may recognize the name TRUMAN, as in President Harry S. Truman. The author Margaret is the daughter of Harry and Bess, and spent time in the White House (she was a college student at nearby George Washington University while her father served as president).  Therefore, she writes the character of the First Lady Jeanine Jamison and the political life in D.C. with a modicum of authority.   After her career as an opera singer, Margaret turned to writing and penned many successful political thrillers.  Monument to Murder is #25 in her Capital Crimes series.  However, considering the fact that Margaret died in 2008 and this book was published in 2011, there is some question as to who actually wrote it.  The successful author in his own write, Donald Bain (as in the Murder She Wrote books) is suspected of having a hand in the creation of this (and many other of Margaret Truman’s) novel.  I found a couple of times where it seemed the plot had been “updated” to include current technology which led me to think perhaps this was an unfinished manuscript from Margaret Truman that somebody else brought to publication. But still, overall, a very engaging read. 

Times are tough in Savannah for former cop and current PI Robert Brixton, so when he agrees to take on a 20 year-old murder case, he figures he’s got nothing to lose. It’s not long before the trail leads him deep into the corrupt underbelly of Savannah’s power elite, and right into the lap of a secret government organization that’s been offing “troublesome” politicians for decades. The cold case heats up when he joins forces with former attorneys Mackensie and Annabel Lee Smith to investigate the organization and the murders they committed in the name of patriotism.
Cover blurb: 
With what he knows, Brixton can bring down Washington D.C.’s leading social hostess, if not the administration itself. But can he outwit an organization that is hell-bent on keeping its secrets—secrets that go all the way back to the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy?
Margaret Truman brings us into the corridors of Washington power as only she can, where the end too often justifies the means, where good people are destroyed by those for whom the only goal is survival… whatever the cost.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I found most interesting was the authorship of the book. To have knowledge of what it's like to be the president or first lady...fascinating. I'm sure you're correct that the book was updated or perhaps co-written.

A few times, we've visited Lyndon B. Johnson's ranch in the Texas Hill Country. The peek into the life of a late 1960s president is totally fascinating. The presidency is something most of us will never see up close, even peripherally. :D