It was the site of one of the most infamous assassinations in American history. Now bestselling mystery master Margaret Truman premieres a new murder at Ford’s Theater–one that’s hot off today’s headlines.
The body of Nadia Zarinski, an attractive young woman who worked for senator Bruce Lerner–and who volunteered at Ford’s–is discovered in the alley behind the theatre. Soon a pair of mismatched cops–young, studious Rick Klieman and gregarious veteran Moses “Mo” Johnson–start digging into the victim’s life, and find themselves confronting an increasing cast of suspects.
There’s Virginia Senator Lerner himself, rumored to have had a sexual relationship with Nadia–and half the women in D.C. under ninety. . . . Clarise Emerson, producer/director of Ford’s Theatre and ex-wife of the Senator, whose nomination to head the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is now threatened by the scandal . . . Jeremiah Lerner, her aimless, hot-tempered son, said to have been sleeping with Nadia when his famous father wasn’t . . . Bernard Crowley, the theatre’s controller, whose emotions overflow at the mention of the crime . . . faded British stage star Sydney Bancroft, desperate for recognition and a comeback, and armed with damning information about Clarise Emerson . . . and other complex characters from both sides of the footlights.
With her unparalleled understanding of Washington and its players, and her savvy sense of how strange bedfellows cut deals even in the midst of mayhem, Margaret Truman always delivers the most sophisticated and satisfying suspense. Murder at Ford’s Theatre is her most compelling, insightful novel yet, sure to earn her a standing ovation from her many fans and new followers alike.
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.