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Murder in the Smithsonian

(Capital Crimes #4)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,513 ratings  ·  95 reviews
"Nonstop action and a brillianly evocative setting make this another winner!"
Dr. Lewis Tunney, a brilliant historian who had stumbled onto an international art scandal, was brutally murdered in front of two hundred guests at an elegant party at the Smithsonian. When his fiancee, Heather McBea, flies in from Scotland to learn more, Mac Hanrahan, the captain in charg
Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 1984 by Fawcett Crest (first published January 1st 1983)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  1,513 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
It is too bad that former President Harry S. Truman didn’t get to read the positive reviews of his daughter’s mystery novels before he died. “Give ‘em Hell, Harry” brought the inferno to a Washington Post music critic after said writer lambasted a performance by Margaret Truman during her singing career. I think the proud and protective father and President would be thrilled with the body (or perhaps, I should say “bodies”) of work in the mystery genre. Before her death in 2008, someone suggeste ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I was really excited about this and wanted to love it, but I found the writing annoying on a regular basis. I wasn't expecting literature or anything profound, but it often felt like something a high school student would write. A high school student proficient in English, yes, but without the life experience (or maybe reading experience) to not sound young. Constant listy descriptions of what people were wearing or eating, when it wasn't germane to the story - that sort of thing.

Once I got used
Denise Spicer
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
When an art expert is murdered at a party, Captain Mac Hanrahan of the Metropolitan Police is on the case. This book has lots of background detail, clothing descriptions, and emphasis on the political and social elites of Washington, D. C. The murder victims fiancée, with ties to the art history world through her Scottish Uncle, assists in the detecting.
Tony Pucci
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
A "likeable" book. Very quick read, good for 15-minute stretches on break at work. Nothing earth-shattering, and nearly quaint due to being written almost 30 years ago (pay phones, etc). Margaret Truman is the daughter of former USA President Harry Truman, although Wikipedia tells me her Washington DC murder mysteries may have been ghost written. I'd pick another one of these up at the used book store for reading at work. Not a lot of depth to this book, which was oddly juxtaposed by Truman obvi ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book in the Capital Crimes series by Margaret Truman. It, as stated, tales place in the Smthsonian. In fact, it takes place in the Nautal History Museum.

A historian is murdered the night of a big event for the Smithsonian featuring the Harsa and Cincinnati Medals. The event is one near and dear to the Vice President's heart and is a major event for the Smithsonian. That is until Lewis Tunney appears and tells his dear friend, the Vice President of the United States, of a distu
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The human nature being timeless, it is not possible to tell the fact this book was written in 1983, unless one is aware of the recent technological advances, such as smart-phones, computers, answering machines, CCTV, and more, missing from the story. The author’s writing style is so unique, combining so many fast-paced side stories with a main storyline that takes place in Washington D.C., London, and Edinburgh. At the beginning, it was hard to figure out who is whom since there are almost forty ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
This is a well written whodunit murder mystery, full of interesting characters, believable turn of events, interesting plot lines and some side plots thrown in for good measure. It's a quick read and one that I hope you'll enjoy. An art expert is murdered in the middle of a swanky get together with DC bigwigs in attendance at the Smithsonian(one of them). It has to do with secret societies, some still existing today, others long dead. Quite a few people have axes to grind, making them prime susp ...more
American Maid
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
A product of its time, some of the views towards minorities and the LQBTQ+ community didn't age well. While I enjoyed the main police character and the victim's fiancee, I found the rest of the characters to be fairly one-note. The murder mystery itself was both too simple (as to who was responsible) and also too complex (the reasons why), so it wasn't something a reader could totally figure out on their own.

I did enjoy the information that was shared about the Smithsonian itself, and appreciat
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Margaret Truman’s books always are full of details of our Washington DC locations. This one is set in the Smithsonian’s American History museum. Heather McBean, had come from Scotland to see the opening of the exhibit where the medal, donated to the museum by her uncle, would be put on display. However, just before the exhibit opened, A priceless medal (with diamonds and rubies) of one of the colonial secret societies was stolen, and an expert on these secret societies was stabbed to death with ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read. Learned something about Scotland and a little about the Smithsonian. The story was okay...not the most suspenseful of her books. The female character, Heather McBean, was a bit irritating....trying to uncover the murderer on her on and occasionally sharing information with the police detective. She often dismissed vital information as unimportant. I wanted to shake her for being so naive.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I learned something about Scotland and a little about the Smithsonian. I've read many of her books and liked them more than this one. The female character, Heather McBean, was somewhat irritating....trying to uncover the murderer on her on and occasionally sharing information with the police detective. She got into some tight spots, mostly because she often dismissed vital information as unimportant. I wanted to shake her for being so naive. ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-mysteries
It was confusing, at first, keeping tabs on a cast of thousands, as it were.

And I found Killington rather smarmy. I wasn’t expecting him to be one of the good guys ... ☹️

But Ms. Truman wrapped things up rather neatly. And brought her readers behind the scenes of a large museum and its treatment of items that may not be on display. I never gave much thought to the number of people involved in overseeing a museum.

Will Heather & Mac end up together?
Oct 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
very bad. 0/10. Literally couldn't finish it. The book is badly written, and incredibly boring. Every man in this main characters life treats her bad, except her love interest, who she falls in love with 2 WEEKS AFTER HER FIANCEES DEATH. Kinda suspicious. And you can't call something a plot twist if you say it on the back. ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Quick fairly light read and enjoyable traditional mystery with a little history thrown in to boot! Quite a dramatic first murder which hooks one pretty easily. Having been to the American History museum, I could easily visualize the scene. I gave it 4 stars for it's entertainment value. ...more
Teri Heyer
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of twists & turns in Murder in the Smithsonian. I stayed up late at night to finish this as I couldn't put it down. Although this is the 4th book in the Capital Crimes series, it can be read as a standalone. ...more
Erica Bellinger
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was published in 1983 so some of the concepts and ideas are dated. It was a decent enough read but it was no Agatha Christie. I felt that she could have focused more on character development rather than giving very elaborate details on what they ate.
Jeff Crosby
This is a mixed bag. Some of the characters are interesting, others are not. The true villain is exposed early, and the mystery is muddled by backstage pressures and politics. Near the end I found myself muttering, “hurry up.” I didn’t dislike the book but was disappointed.
Katharine Ott
"Murder in the Smithsonian" - written by Margaret Truman and published in 1983 by William Morrow and Company. Not very exciting DC murder mystery. ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although slow-moving at times, this was a good mystery. This was not my first Margaret Truman book and I shall continue reading more of her mysteries.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: margaret-truman
This series seems to be going downhill. I knew right away who the killer was. The rest of the book was just a long, drawn out story of not much.
Diana Westfall
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy read while I was sitting at the hospital. Always enjoy these old Margaret Truman books
Nancy A. Norman
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Margaret is great at keeping the secret of who done it until the right moment
Keeps you from putting the book down
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Second I have read in series - totally new characters - how is this a series? ANyway an interesting crime and set up, and the resolution while not unexpected was a really cool underlying motive.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Truman is a fun mystery writer from way back. It was fun to read a book from the 80s
Marjorie Schultz
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun summer reading
Marsha Moyer
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m really enjoying reading Truman’s Capital Crimes novels. Good mysteries with well developed characters.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting brief biography on the founder of the Smithsonian Museum. Otherwise, most opportunities for missed romance ever to occur in one book.
Jan Norton
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
It was my first book by this author. It was a nice, quick read.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lists upon lists- and they were all useless too.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe good for historical info but not much more....
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Mary Margaret Truman-Daniel, widely known throughout her life as "Margaret Truman", (February 17, 1924 — January 29, 2008) was an American singer who later became a successful writer. She was the only child of Harry S. Truman (33rd President of the United States) and his wife Bess.

Born in Independence, Missouri, she was christened Mary Margaret Truman (for her aunt Mary Jane Truman and her materna

Other books in the series

Capital Crimes (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Murder in the White House (Capital Crimes, #1)
  • Murder on Capitol Hill (Capital Crimes, #2)
  • Murder In The Supreme Court (Capital Crimes, #3)
  • Murder on Embassy Row (Capital Crimes, #5)
  • Murder at the FBI (Capital Crimes, #6)
  • Murder in Georgetown (Capital Crimes, #7)
  • Murder in the CIA (Capital Crimes, #8)
  • Murder at the Kennedy Center (Capital Crimes, #9)
  • Murder at the National Cathedral (Capital Crimes, #10)
  • Murder at the Pentagon (Capital Crimes, #11)

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