MURDER AT FORD'S THEATRE: A Capital Crimes Novel

Margaret Truman, Author . Ballantine $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-44489-9

The spirit of Chandra Levy hovers over Truman's latest Washington, D.C., mystery (Murder on the Potomac, etc.), which, despite a sometimes confusing plot and little suspense until the climax, should be as successful as other recent entries in this durable series. When the body of congressional intern Nadia Zarinski turns up outside the stage door of Ford's Theatre, D.C. police detectives Mo Johnson and Rick Klayman, who happens to be a Lincoln buff, are assigned the case. Nadia worked in the office of Senator Bruce Lerner, ex-husband of Clarise Emerson, head of Ford's Theatre and nominee for chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Once Clarise determines with Klayman's help that her son, Jeremiah, was the last to see Nadia alive, she appeals to former attorney Mackensie "Mac" Smith to represent him. But there are other suspects as well: theater controller Bernard Crowley; aging, past-his-prime British actor and artistic director Sydney Bancroft; and Senator Lerner himself. Mac and his police cohorts find these ambitious power seekers an unpleasant lot. As usual, the location takes center stage, and the fun lies in seeing how the author uses the national landmark in the service of the drama. In this case, the Lincoln theme pulls the plot threads together and brings weight to the proceedings. The performance may be a bit contrived, but fans will enjoy the show. (Nov. 19)

Reviewed on: 10/21/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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