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Murder at the Opera: A Capitol Crimes Novel    by Margaret Truman order for
Murder at the Opera
by Margaret Truman
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2007 (2006)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Murder at the Opera is about the gazillionth book Margaret Truman has written. She has a knack for writing gripping crime stories with interesting backgrounds. This time that background is the Washington National Opera. A rising new star of the opera scene is found in a remote area of the opera house stabbed in the heart. This obviously happened during rehearsals. Mac and Annabel Smith, that crime-fighting couple we have all grown to love, are deeply involved with the opera and Mac is invited to find the killer quickly to quell any rumors spread by the press.

Though not an opera fan, I was intrigued by the vast knowledge imparted in this novel of the history of opera and the voices associated with it. The social scene surrounding the opera season was also fun to read about the Opera Ball, the embassy dinners prior to the Ball, the fashionable clothing and jewels, the food. At times all that took the reader's mind off the main thrust of the novel the murder of the young diva and why she had to die. The search for the killer and the people involved in the search proved up to the task. I found the machinations necessary to provide protection for the President and the First Lady an almost impossible task. Their appearance at the Opera Ball would have cost a small fortune for a few minutes time. For safety's sake, they wouldn't even be able to taste the food!

The pace moved along as the various characters contributed to the solving of the mystery. Other lives are lost before reaching a conclusion I didn't see coming. As usual with Margaret Truman's work, the plot line was tight with characters who could be you or I, or our next door neighbor. I've come to feel I could visit Washington and feel comfortable there by reading the descriptions of its environs in this series - and locating the restaurants that Mac and Amanda frequent would be a must.

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