Monday, September 7, 2020

Larceny at the Library by Colleen J. Shogan (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Colleen J. Shogan


GENRE:   Mystery/cozy mystery



Congressional chief of staff Kit Marshall is finally figuring out what it takes to work for a newly minted committee chair in the House of Representatives. After a swanky evening soiree at the Library of Congress, Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body of a high-ranking librarian inside a ceremonial office. In addition to a murder, there’s also a major theft to complicate the situation. The contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated have gone missing. Kit’s political boss and the Librarian of Congress ask Kit to investigate, and she’s released into a world of intrigue populated by a frisky donor, an ambitious congressional relations specialist, a cagey rare books curator, an overly curious congressman, and a baseball-loving lawyer. Kit must solve the crime before Doug’s career is tanked by suspicion. The case takes her to the inner bowels of the Library of Congress, Ford’s Theatre, the National Portrait Gallery, and the D.C. Public Library. In the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer and thief.



Dunlap motioned for me to follow inside her private office. With a spectacular view of the historic Jefferson Building and the United States Capitol accompanied by floor to ceiling windows, the Librarian’s corner suite constituted prime real estate on Capitol Hill.  Her desk was littered with papers and books. I appreciated a disheveled work space and instantly felt at ease with the homey appearance of her personal space.

“Please sit down, Ms. Marshall,” she said, pointing to a leather armchair. She took a seat directly opposite me, straining to offer a smile.

“I’ll touch base with Sergeant O’Halloran later this afternoon,” I said. “I’ve already done a preliminary survey of the immediate suspects so we can talk freely about where the investigation stands.”

“Impressive,” said the Librarian, her hands folded neatly on her lap. “How did you come up with such a list?”

I explained that a limited number of people knew that only her fingerprints and Gustav Gaffney’s could open the safe. Given Doug’s observations, if we assumed that Gaffney was killed last night instead of this morning, then only those already inside the building would have had access to the Librarian’s ceremonial office. That narrowed the list of possible suspects considerably.

“Then who are we talking about specifically, Ms. Marshall? asked Dunlap. “After all, I’m in charge of the Library of Congress, and I need to know who might be responsible for these heinous crimes.”

“Of course, ma’am.” I ticked off the known suspects with my fingers. “There’s Gordon Endicott, Joe Malden, Lea Rutherford, Janice Jackson, and Congressman Henry Chang.”  After taking a breath, I continued. “The police likely consider my husband Doug Hollingsworth a suspect, too. But I don’t.” I chuckled. “For obvious reasons.”

“Thank you for those names, Ms. Marshall,” said the Librarian, now with a pinched expression on her face. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to go back to the drawing board.”

My head flinched backwards. “Excuse me, ma’am?” 

“Many of those individuals are my employees here at the Library of Congress,” she said. “None of them could have killed Gustav Gaffney or committed theft.”

“It’s hard to imagine a colleague you know and trusted could have done this. But I’ve seen this unfortunate scenario time and time again. You’d be surprised what motivates people to do horrible things.”

Purchase Links: 

Barnes & Noble


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.


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The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4.25 stars



“Larceny at the Library” by Coleen Shogan details another adventure involving the intrepid Kit Marshall, whose involvement in the latest murder on Capitol Hill is even more personal than ever before. Her search for the murderer and for the motive behind the theft of valuable Lincoln memorabilia leads her all over DC as she confronts many of the movers and shakers on The Hill.


This cozy mystery story is part of the ‘A Washington Whodunit’ series and includes great details about the Library of Congress, some of its iconic collections, and the machinations of the library staff, politicians, support staff, and other movers and shakers in Washington, D.C. The witty allusions to current events also add realism to the story. Although this can be read as a stand-alone, many of the characters persist throughout the books in this fun series, and it helps to deepen one’s appreciation of their motivations and actions if some of the previous volumes have been read.


There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters, including two delightful canines, and the obscure details about topics as diverse as invaluable comic books or presidential memorabilia enrich the story. I enjoyed the multilayered conflicts as Kit not only searches for a murderer and the missing items, but navigates through appeasing various powerful folks, her hubby’s search for their new house, and her best friend’s love triangle. Books that allow me to armchair travel are always welcome, especially during these turbulent times, and I can only hope to one day visit some of the places described so vividly and appreciate the beauty and weighty history for myself. This was an excellent addition to a charming series, and I look forward to reading more about Kit’s adventures.



A copy of this title was provided for review


  1. Happy Labor Day! The blurb and excerpt are intriguing, this sounds like a great cozy mystery! Congratulations, Colleen on this wonderful review and thank you for sharing your book and author details, I am looking forward to reading your story

    1. Belated Happy Labor Day to you as well, Bea. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Thanks so much for participating in my book tour and providing such a great review!

    1. Congrats on the release, and thanks for sharing your insider knowledge in such an entertaining way!

  3. Replies
    1. It was a fun story. Thanks for popping by, Rita!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment, Victoria. Hope you're surviving our crazy weather and all of the scary fires!

  5. Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to enjoy it, marisela. Thank you for coming by!

  6. Replies
    1. It was entertaining, Debbie. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Is this story a stand-alone or is it part of a series?

    1. It can be read as a stand-alone, Bea, but it is part of a series. Thanks for visiting.

  9. Thank you for sharing! Sounds awesome!