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Murder in the White House

(Capital Crimes #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,200 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Investigating the strangling death of the Secretary of State in the Lincoln Bedroom, White House counsel Ron Fairbanks hears that the Secretary was a womanizer with ties to a glamorous call girl, and finds evidence of unofficial connections with international wheeler-dealers. Fairbanks discovers only a few highly placed insiders had access to the Lincoln Bedroom that fatef ...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published October 30th 2001 by Fawcett Books (first published 1980)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  2,200 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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My magical mystery tour rolls on with Margaret Truman's Murder in the White House. Truman is the daughter of former President Harry S Truman and after writing a touching biography of her father, turned her hand toward a series of mysteries taking place in the nation's capital. As a lover of both history and mysteries, I decided to give the first book in the series a try.

President and First Lady Robert and Catherine Webster are returning from a key trip to France where they had been promoting an
Arlene Starr
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Murder in the White House, Margaret Truman
This is a murder mystery written in third person by Margaret Truman, President Truman’s daughter, who is familiar with the White House, and writes with authenticity. It is not based on factual events however. The book is divided into two parts, the first includes an introduction and a day by day transcript of events as they occur from June 12 throughout June 19. The last part presents the evidence and speculation and reveals the guilty. Don’t cheat and s
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not a favorite of mine. It's a quick read; I'll give the book that. But that's just about the only positive thing I can say. The ending was really disappointing, and I thought the book contained a lot of unnecessary trash. Also, the author would randomly switch between 1st and 3rd person narrative right in the middle of things, and then suddenly switch back after a paragraph. I'm not sure if this was just really poor writing and editing, or if it was some weird attempt at creativity, but whateve ...more
Humph. Why have I not devoured this series before? I've owned a paperback of this one - and one or two in the series - for decades! I have a niggling feeling that I acquired them used and never read because I then heard negative reviews on them. Well, silly me for listening and not just reading and making my own judgment, as I usually do. I LOVED this and cannot wait to check out more in the series!

Ron, a young lawyer, is special counsel to President Webster, may or may not be serious about Lyn
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books, rtyr
Not a bad start

3.5 star. The President assigns his Special Counsel Advisor to solve the murder. He wants to keep as much as he can from the press. As the killing is being looked into you get some insight into politics and things that possibly go on in Washington. Wasn't a bad start to the series. It will be interesting to see how the next one takes place after the finish in this one.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Not overly long ago, it came to my attention that beginning back in the 80s, Margaret Truman, daughter of former US president Harry Truman, penned a longrunning series of murder mysteries set among the highest echelons of power inside the US government. Now, I love a good mystery and political thriller, and the rather unique settings (this first book involves the murder of the Secretary of State inside the White House) informed by the author's unique insights made this an almost irresistable ser ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointment

For years, I've heard how wonderful this series is. So I've collected a few and sat down to read in order.

This book needs an editor: run-on sentences, sentences with a period in the middle, sentences that don't make sense and have to be read aloud to be understood.

And the ending that isn't. The writing just stops. Nothing is resolved.

Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this many years ago. I didn't think it was great then and I don't think it's great now, but it's certainly readable and Truman is competent.

The basic plot: the secretary of state is found murdered in the White House. An investigation by the President's Special Counsel, Ron Fairbanks, a bright young man, reveals some darkness in the Secretary of State's handling of his job. There are different reasons he might have been murdered, but there is a limiting factor: only a small number of per
Doug Warren
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
After the first couple of pages I was coming up with one line reviews to cover this whole book;
"You know those conversations you hear old people having and can't believe anyone in the world would find them interesting, this book was just a boring old person conversation." and "This book would have never been published if she were not a president's daughter." &t.
But, it got better. The dialog was really good and kept the story going. The details and plot action, eh, not so much, but it was a good
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I knew Ms. Truman was a mystery writer, but I never had any interest in reading her works until I visited the Truman’s Little White House in Key West and learned Ms. Truman was inspired by Agatha Christie. Had the two been publishing at the same time, Ms. Christie would not have had to worry about the competition. I guess this was okay as far as a political thriller goes, but I figured out who did it early on, like before page 50. Usually I like figuring things out early and experiencing how the ...more
Keli Wright
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Maybe one of the reasons I loved it was because it was set in Washington DC and written by a first daughter...It was interesting to compare how things were doine in 1980 and how they are now..It is amazing that they even solved crimes back then with no DNA or ballistics or luminol or anything. ..I am going to read the rest of her was a good quick read. I reccommend it for anyone that likes mysteries and the DC area...they even mentioned going to a st. in Alexandria t ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
This was my first Margaret Truman book. I enjoyed it and really like her writing style. I agree with some other reviewers that the story was a little lacking but it was a very quick read and I will definitely read more of this series as I understand it gets better.
Ellen Moore
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book. Truman writes extremely well and makes good use of her knowledge of Washington politics as a first daughter who had lived in the White House in creating her novel. I liked the book.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
House of Cards set in the 1980s

Solid story, well written; perfect for a mystery lover. I couldn't help but imagine a young Francis Underwood as this story's President Webster. Love a good Washington intrigue.
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I have been meaning to read this for years. It was written by President Truman's daughter, Margaret.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good old-fashioned whodunit, by a woman who knows the ins and outs of Washington politics. Even though these were written years ago, they still have plenty of intrigue.
Deranged Dreamer
Jan 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was terrible.
It had so much potential.
But in the end you don´t care about any of the characters.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the Capital Crimes series. It is series of mysteries that take place in Washington, DC at many of its iconic sites. These are real places but made-up mysteries involving made-up characters. I love reading mysteries but these series offers another detail I absolutely adore in a book. The setting/location. I love reading a story featuring places I know about and seeing them accurately described. Also, Margaret Truman writes an good mystery with a mixture of politics and w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this was a great murder mystery set in our nation's capital, and penned by Margaret Truman, daughter of former US president Harry S Truman. set around a fictional presidency of Robert Webster, his wife Catherine, in his daughter Lynne. the protagonist in investigator is a security guy, and advisor to the president, Ron Fairbanks. the mystery is that Lansard ' Lan' Blaine, the Secretary of State, is found strangled in the Lincoln bedroom. Ron is tasked with the investigation, with high recommenda ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a first book, it was good. Interesting characters. Built suspense with a slightly surprise ending (I had guessed some of it, but not all.) Having already read many of this series, I can see a slight difference from the later ones - there isn't as much in-depth, behind the scenes look at life in the book's location (in this book, the White House). After reading most of the other Capital Crimes books, I came away with an informative picture of life in the National Gallery of Art, the House, th ...more
Marguerite MacLean
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the first of a series by Margaret Truman that takes place in Washington DC. I had read Murder on the Potomac and enjoyed it, so I thought I would start at the beginning. In this first book there is a murder right in the White House and it falls to Ron Fairbanks, special council to the President to lead the investigation. It's a typical murder mystery. A lot of people are suspects and as we learn more about each character we develop an idea of who-done-it. I loved it because it takes plac ...more
Sara G
This is a decent political thriller style mystery, written by the daughter of an ex-president. The Secretary of State is found murdered in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House after the President returns from a conference regarding an international trade agreement. The President is appalled, and appoints a young attorney who's friendly with his daughter as special counsel to investigate the murder.

I'll be honest, I only read this one because of the author. I saw some of her books at the Truman
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Burke
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adored this book. To be fair the first chapter (54 pages) were very, very slow. I was very, very concerned. However, once the book got started (Chapter 2) it was wonderful. Admittedly I'm a policy work who lives DC and politics, but I loved this book. The policy details, the history, and, yes, the mystery. The mystery itself was well thought out, as was the characters and the plotting. I honestly don't think anyone but a former White House residence and insider could have written th ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as Good as 35 Years Ago

I read the whole Margaret Truman Capital Crimes series starting in the early 80's and thought they were great. I thought I might enjoy reading them again but now this book seemed a little stilted and the whole plot really unbelievable. What kind of President of the US is going to give a young, not very experienced lawyer, the complete power to investigate a murder including him asking for and receiving any material from any agency no matter how classified. He's authori
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Couldn’t put it down

Wow, I didn’t see that coming. With most mysteries I usually have a good idea of how it will end. This one completely surprised me. I have read in some of the reviews that the writing was, not as good as it could have been. Maybe so, but I couldn’t put it down and that rarely happens. Looking back, the characters may have been too one-sided, either good or bad, but that didn’t detract from the elegance of the story line. I will be reading more of this series.
Rene Call
While I enjoyed this mystery, and the ending surprised me, I have to admit that it didn’t grab me and make want to keep reading. I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to the characters, so I could read the book or put it down without any real regrets or desire to read just one more page. This is the first book by this author, so I am going to read some more and see if her writing and style mature well. I did love some of the insights that only someone who had lived the fish bowl life in the Whi ...more
Rebecca Mulligan
A wonderful first book!

Margaret Truman's entry into the world of mystery writing is a stellar addition to the genre. As an insider, she knows the workings of the White House and the political maneuvering that takes place in an administration. It is very cleverly plotted and wrongdoer is a true surprise that literally left me breathless. I look forward to reading the other books in the series and highly recommend Murder in the White House.
James A. Butler
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One Hell of an Ending! the White House...a crooked Secretary of State who slept with a series of young women and well paid call girls and even tried to strong arm the president. The Secret Service that looked the other way. A presidential family with a dark secret but you will never guess who decided to use a guitar string to permanently silence the Secretary of State.
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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 30 books)
  • 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)
  • Murder at the Pentagon (Capital Crimes, #11)

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