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Murder at the National Gallery

(Capital Crimes #13)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  601 ratings  ·  50 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 d
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Random House (first published December 12th 1991)
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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
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
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.
Sue Huhn
I think the plot dragged on too long. The plot should have been wrapped up sooner.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The National Gallery in Washington DC is preparing for an exhibit of paintings by the Italian painter Caravaggio (c. 1600.) Shortly before the opening of the exhibit, one of the Gallery’s directors discovers a previously unknown Caravaggio in a run-down church in southern Italy. Really? Now comes a run of murders, forgeries, double-crosses, power-grabs, scams, and scandals. A fast moving story of dreams and mistakes.
Margaret Truman writes consistently enjoyable mysteries with just enough complexity to keep them from being "fluff" or quick reads, but they never bog down in excessive background information, and if it matters to you, the language is always clean.
Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: margaret-truman
There was a lot of good info here about the shady world of Art. I really have no background in the various artist etc and it was facinating to read about people who are so wraped up in art.
Great read.
Lansing Public Library
Most of the group didn't care for this
book. The beginning was slow, there were
to many characters, and they were very
disappointed with the ending.
They did, however, learn a lot about the
art world.
Karen GoatKeeper
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annabelle and Mac Smith always make for interesting reading. This one had lots of background info on the international art world.
Murder mysteries are rather predictable although this one had a few twists I didn't expect. It was a fun book to read, easy to follow.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's listed as a young adult book, but I don't think they'd be interested. What I liked is that she is really familiar with how the big institutions in Washington work and it lends credibility to the plot line. And I liked that it happened to be about the National Gallery of Art.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I've read several of these over the years. Interestingly, the main character of this series (attorney an amateur detective Mac Smith) was only a minor character in this novel (and DIDN'T solve the mystery surrounding the murder)
Connie D
Generally a good mystery and good plot, good characters, but just didn't hook me.

I think the audiocassette version was blander than if I'd read it on the page, so it's probably better than I rated it.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I was expecting. The plot was a little all over the place and I had a bit of a time following why all these different people were involved. Ultimately, I really had no love for the main character.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although a well developed murder plot, it started extremely slow, picked up in the middle only to drag in the end. This book will never be on my favorites list but to give this author a fair chance I will try to read another of her works. I have my eye on "Murder at the National Cathedral".
An "okay" book, but I wouldn't really call it a mystery. Interesting look into the art world. I'm sure that being a former President's daughter and being married to a book editor greatly advanced Ms. Truman's writing career. This book was not exceptional.
Livia Komosa
Fun read. Many twist and turns. Enjoyed it.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
Good addition to the Capital Crimes series. This one featured Annabel Smith more and that was fun. Lots of twists and turns as we went along on this art caper.
Jennifer Singleterry
Not as good as I remember other Truman books to be. It moves pretty slowly and I didn't like any of the characters.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It was hard to 'get into' this book but the ending was very good.
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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

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