Calamity at the Continental Club
by Colleen J. Shogan
Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit)
3rd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C.
Camel Press (July 1, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.
Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.
Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.
Congress is in recess and Doug’s parents, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are in town for a meeting of the Mayflower Society. They have invited Kit and Doug to join them at the Continental Club for a couple of days in hopes of getting a firm wedding date set and to get started planning the expected high society event. Buffy is the one worried about the wedding, Winston’s mind is on becoming the next president of the Mayflower Society.
Wedding plans take a backseat when the current Mayflower Society president, Grayson Bancroft’s, body is found by Kit before she heads out for her morning run. Police check all the security cameras and they see no one coming in or going out of any of the club exits. That means the killer has to be someone staying at the club, like Winston Hollingsworth. He wanted Grayson’s job and he didn’t make it a secret. Both Doug and Buffy have asked Kit to investigate and pledged to help her in any way they can. So she calls in Meg and Trevor to help her track down the killer. Even her dog Clarence makes a vital assist.
Readers follow Kit and her friends all over D.C. as they chase down clues to prove Winston’s innocence and try to catch the killer. It is quite a clever tale. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence against her future father-in-law and his only alibi is Buffy.
Ms. Shogan has filled this story with many twists that keep the plot moving right along. The subplot romance between Doug and Kit and dealing with his parents brings humor to the story. All four characters evolve over the course of the story. I didn’t like Buffy at first but by the end she was starting to grow on me.
I really enjoyed getting away from the Capitol to a new D.C. location. Even though she didn’t have much clout in the place Kit was determined to make the police listen to her. The way the mystery played out was logical and pure Kit. She can be quite convincing and with Meg by her side pretty funny too.
The way the author sets each scene gives us the treat of virtually “seeing” not only the Continental Club, but the Smithsonian and the National Archives. She and Doug even take a quick tour of Mount Vernon, a place our family visited in the late 90’s. Her words transported right back there.
Each story in this series tops the last, all 3 are great reads. As before Colleen Shogan’s knowledge of D.C. shines brightly in this story and again I didn’t want the story to end even though I loved the ending.
About The Author
Colleen Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked in the United States Senate and for the Congressional Research Service. She’s currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their beagle mutt, Conan.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”