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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway for Lethal Legacies by Colleen J. Shogan


Decatur House: A Hidden Treasure
Colleen Shogan

When writing Lethal Legacies, I wanted to include well known historical locations as the setting for importance scenes in the story. Kit Marshall visits the White House, Georgetown University, and the Smithsonian African American Museum, picking up clues along the way. I also included a lesser-known historical site, Decatur House on Lafayette Square. I’m quite familiar with Decatur House: my White House Historical Association office is located there.

I work on the third floor of Decatur House, which was built in 1819 by Commodore Stephen Decatur and his wife Susan. Stephen Decatur was a famous naval war hero from the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. He earned prize money for his exploits and had enough resources to purchase an entire block just north of the White House. Decatur House, designed by the famous architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, was the first private residence in the vicinity of the White House. It is a three-story red brick structure, designed in the Federal style. 

Unfortunately, Decatur lost life in 1820 in a duel with Commodore James Barron, dying inside Decatur House from his wounds. Susan Decatur rented the house for fifteen years after her husband’s demise. Two of the most famous occupants were secretaries of state Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren. Both brought enslaved people to Decatur House. She later sold the house to John Gadsby, a wealthy hotelier. More enslaved workers lived in Decatur House during the Gadsby years.

After the federal government seized the house during the Civil War, it was purchased by Edward Beale in 1871, who was the ambassador to Austria-Hungary during the Grant administration. It remained in the Beale family until 1956, when Marie Beale bequeathed the home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The White House Historical Association is now a co-steward of the house, along with the National Trust.

I weave much of this colorful history into Lethal Legacies. Every day when I come to work, I pass by the beautiful dining room, entrance hall, and parlors of Decatur House. I also walk by the corridor when enslaved workers lived, now maintained as a historical example of urban slavery. It’s a fabulous place, full of historical intrigue and mystery, both real and imagined.

About Lethal Legacies

 Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Camel Press (August 9, 2022)
  Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages 
 ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1684920302 
 ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1684920303 
 Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VMPZCC4 

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 week long 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.

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.

*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
I have not read the previous books in this series but I was willing to give it a chance to see if I liked it. I must it was quite the interesting read. We follow Kit who works in D.C. at the Capital as a congressional staffer. Since her boss is running for a Senate seat it is up to Kit to organize and help run a week long American history event that has never been done before. The event alone is stressful enough but when dead bodies start popping up it really gets intense. Kit is determined to figure it out though even if she does in up in danger by doing so. This makes for a great read as we get a blend of actual American history blended with a modern day mystery that takes place at historic sites. I felt like I was on a tour taking it all in as the story progressed to its surprising ending. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and 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 currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen 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” won the 2021 IPPY bronze medal for mystery. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links 
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Praise for the Series

“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 “A solid choice for political junkies and readers of ­Maggie ­Sefton, Fred Hunter, and Mike Lawson.” —Library Journal “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 “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 “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 “An excellent whodunit…. I was really impressed with this very smart story. The author is a former Senate staffer so she is writing what she knows, less the murder, I hope.” —Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book “Readers who enjoy amateur sleuth mysteries written in the style of Agatha Christie will enjoy this promising debut mystery.” —The Washington Independent Review of Books  
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  1. This sounds like a really good book to read and review! peggy clayton

  2. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details and congratulations on receiving this great review of Lethal Legacies. I love the cover and the synopsis and excerpt have intrigued me, this sounds like an excellent cozy mystery book and series, a must read for me