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Murder at the National Gallery

(Capital Crimes #13)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  719 ratings  ·  65 reviews
"POWERFUL . . . FASCINATING . . . Truman absolutely amazes."
—Atlanta Journal & Constitution

When the senior curator at Washington's famed National Gallery finds a missing painting by the Renaissance master Caravaggio, he mounts a world-class exhibition—and plots a brilliant forgery scheme that will stun the art world.

—Publishers Weekly

But an artful decep
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Random House (first published December 12th 1991)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  719 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Murder at the National Gallery has been my back-up book Since May 2nd. During that four months I finished 20 other books and gave up on four. It is time to give up on this one. For awhile it seemed to have enough promise that I kept it on my bedside table and read it when I ran out of other books. You'd expect that at some point what appears to be a tense mystery would pull me in. Usually I read a mystery in a a day or two. With this one I didn't care about the characters and (at least in the fi ...more
Don M.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of a chore to read. There was so much extra information that was just not relevant. It was like she was getting paid by the word so did her best to pump things up with needless material that simply distracted from the story.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
"Murder at the National Gallery" is one of those books where the individual experience reading each page was fine, the story was never boring or offensive, but as a whole I do not think it worked. Also, upon reflection, I think the only thing that I really liked about it was the premise: intrigue around a lost artwork by Caravaggio (who I am a fan of) that is suddenly found, and I liked the main setting of the National Gallery (which I am a fan of). The National Gallery is used well as a familia ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luther Mason, world-class expert on the works of Caravaggio and head curator at the the Nation Gallery in DC, has arranged for a special exhibition of Caravaggio artworks. On view will be pieces from London, France, Russia, Spain and Italy. It seems all is set until Mason is told of a recently discovered Caravaggio work in Italy. When he goes to view it he is presented with a proposition. One that involves forgery, deception, prestige, fame and more. The unveiling of this piece will make it the ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mac and Annabel are back with Annabel taking the lead in this one. Her college roommate is the Second Lady and they are both involved in the National Gallery's Caravaggio exhibition. But something is wrong with the curator and his story of the discovery of a lost masterpiece. Annabel helps in other art crimes as well. Got a little slow and I actually paused reading a couple times to read other more interesting books. This series is fun, but not great for some reason ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Am I the only person left who still enjoys a late-90's Margaret Truman mystery. Maybe, but I don't care. About 2/3 of the way through this one I got kind of upset because I kind of wanted the thief to get away with it. But then the story took a turn and I was back on board. I like the way Truman writes encompassing several different perspectives and with quick, might I even say snappy dialog. I enjoyed the ride. ...more
Christopher Ramsay
An introduction to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. How it's staff interacts with the public and with other Museums around the world. Throw in a long lost painting by an Italian master, and many criminals who want to possess it. All sorts of chaos erupts, including murder. This time Annabel Reid-Smith was a pivotal character during the high points in the book. ...more
David Swartzlander
Murder at the National Gallery is OK, but no murder ever takes place at the National Gallery. And the crime ends up being so convoluted that, by the end, it's turned into a host of crimes that's difficult to track. And difficult to believe. If you're looking for something light to read between two more weighty tomes, this book may work. But I've read better mysteries. ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read many of Margaret Truman's books. I've loved most of them. This one was different - more difficult to read. All of her previous books were such a joy to read - the pages flew by with no effort. This one took discipline. Not my favorite. ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
This was the perfect audio book to listen to while doing gardening or other activities around the house. I enjoyed the behind the scenes art info and of course the political and Washington DC setting.
Carlana Lane
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good page turner

This is a good mystery with enough twists and turns to be interesting. And it is also a good introduction to famous art.
My only criticism is that the number of characters makes it confusing. It is sometimes hard to know who is doing what!
The foremost parts weren't that as exciting. A bit slow and bland and uninteresting. But i do like the twist towards the end. I didn't anticipate it and had faraway expectations so i love that surprise. Very good book nonetheless ...more
Paula Schumm
Jul 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book on a trip to Washington, DC, and finished it once we were home. This murder mystery novel takes place in DC and in Rome, Italy. Stolen art and several murders make this an exciting read. Recommended.
Sue Huhn
I think the plot dragged on too long. The plot should have been wrapped up sooner.
Susan Kosel
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always enjoyable.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been going back and rereading multiple of Margaret Truman's books. Enjoy many of her stories. The descriptions of Washington, politics of the time make for fun reading ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
unlike anything I have ever read.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: truman
Her best I’ve read so far. Story of curator obsessed with Caravaggio’s paintings. He finds a lost one on the eve of an exhibition he’s doing at the Gallery which leads to murder and intrigue.
Nancy Nash Keefer
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1_our_library
Such fun books. I’d have finished much more quickly had I not accidentally left my copy at the house from which we moved, but anyway...
Lydia Gates
Author kind of spoil alerts you in Ch 22 . Good read.
Jen Shapiro
Sep 30, 2021 marked it as caught-released  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
So very boring. Catch and release.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty decent story - lots about Caravaggio


Part of the series that features a murder in many prominent Washington, D.C. buildings, Murder at the National Gallery is all about the intrigues surrounding the opening of an art show featuring Renaissance artist Caravaggio and a "lost" piece of art that was found just in time for the show. Will the murderer be satisfied with just the murder of a member of the Italian diplomatic corps who had a reputation for stealing Italian masterpieces and
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a much better read than I expected. I'm not very knowledgeable in art by the masters...recognize names and some pieces but that's all, so I thought I would be bored. It was a slow start for me, but since I've really liked most of Margaret Truman's novels I stayed with it. It did get very much more the point that I would love to visit our nations art gallery. I couldn't help but learn something about art and the National Gallery of Art. (P.S. Please don't refer to it as ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This mystery takes the reader from Washington DC to Italy via Paris as a visitor to the world of the world's greatest artists and it's talented forgers. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive is a perfect description of this story line. The characters become more entangled as the deception progresses to a climax. Max and Anabel return as key participants to protect the National Gallery's exhibition of a lost painting by a famous Italian artists. One of the better Capital Crime ser ...more
Jul 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What a relief after the horribly written and worse read Murder at the Opera. But we had miles to drive on our trip home and little else to listen to, so we started MatNG and it was a good move. This is another Mac and Annabel caper, although they are minor characters this time. Luther Mason, curator of the National Gallery and preeminent Caravaggio expert, can't resist taking a long-lost masterpiece for himself and returning a forgery to Italy plus selling a second copy to an unscrupulous are co ...more
Peggy Huey
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book from Margaret Truman's "Capital Crimes" series set in Washington D.C. takes readers into the National Gallery and the nuances of international art theft. The central event involves _Grottesca_, a painting by the Renaissance master Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio, and Luther Mason, a curator and Caravaggio expert working at the National Gallery. Mason's obsession with the painting leads to his untimely death and an adventure for Annabel Reed-Smith assisted by her lawyer husband Mac, both ...more
Taffey Champion
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was definitely a good read. I did enjoy reading about all of the attempts to steal that one elusive and recently discovered Caravaggio painting. I felt there were some quite tragic endings for those characters that were involved with the theft of such an exquisite work of art. Margaret Truman helped reinforce why I do enjoy reading thrilling Murder mysteries...that is, when I am in the mood to read them. Even though, I do believe her novels are mostly considered Crime novels, I consider Mur ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 When this series started, I wouldn't have expected that the best (by which I mean "least amount of annoying bits") so far would feature a bare minimum of Mackenzie, and that he'd nonetheless be the low point. The focus is on Annabel here - yet only sort of, as she's not actually the main character - and it's not so much a mystery as a thriller. Well, either that or it's about the longest prologue/setup ever, filling about 80% of the book before a whodunnit element briefly shows up. Denials a ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey y'all guess what a series based in DC

I am finding that it is most helpful to read the copyright date before beginning the book because it helps me as a reader get a handle on the available technology. If the author has a sidekick accessing a phone in the car and the book was published in the late 90s, you can bet the speaker is talking on a big ol' brick and the author had no way of knowing you'd be envisioning an iPhone.

I've read a couple of books in this series so far, absolutely out of or
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1996, I'm still time traveling by reading all of Margaret Truman's "Murder in/at/on" books. Its interesting to see how her stories evolve at technology advances. The fax machine is the big one in this book. The story on a whole was very good. It was a little boring in the beginning until the characters and plot was set up. Got very interesting in the end. This story line went back and forth between Washington DC and Italy and it has to do with art theft which is very big in Italy as ...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 in the Smithsonian (Capital Crimes, #4)
  • 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)

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