True to the Truman

Margaret Truman

Margaret Truman. What’s that tiny smile about, I wonder? Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I get a kick out of it when an author uses a familiar setting in his or her book, especially if that setting happens to be in the DC metro area. (“Hey! I’ve been there!”) David Baldacci, who lives in the DC area like I do, often refers to local places I’ve visited. So do mystery author Barbara Michaels and romance writer Nora Roberts, since they’re both Marylanders.

But the person who does it the best was Margaret Truman (yep, Harry’s daughter). I love to curl up with one of her murder mysteries, set at various DC locations such as the White House (they turned this one into a movie called “Murder at 1600” with Wesley Snipes and Diane Lane), Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, National Cathedral, the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building and the Kennedy Center.

Her murder mysteries do a great job at capturing the contrasts of DC — it’s sometimes elegant, sometimes desperately poor. And I like her characters such as Mackensie and Annabel Smith — they’re good for each other…close but not cloying, independent when they need to be, and smart.

I still have yet to make it to some of Truman’s locations. Call me crazy, but I don’t think they’d just let me stroll into the Pentagon or the CIA’s main buildings. I wouldn’t mind doing the Hoover building tour or the Library of Congress.

The trick is to have enough time to go over to DC. Don’t even get me started on what it’s like to park in DC, people. (Hello, Metro!)

Once I get to the Library of Congress, I think I’ll be in book nerdvana. Can there be any better fate? *sighs wistfully* Maybe someday.



Filed under Writing

12 responses to “True to the Truman

  1. I didn’t know Ms. Truman was a writer. But then again, I’ve been planning to read that Truman biography for a couple of years and haven’t gotten to it. I guess I ought. I learn something new every day and today you have been my teacher 😉

  2. Always happy to pass on what I know! She was quite an interesting person. Not just a White House daughter but also a singer and writer.

    I hope you read her mystery novels sometime. I think you’ll enjoy them. She was a great storyteller.

  3. I have some of the fondest memories of going to the Air and Space and Natural History Museums with my parents when I was a kid. It was a big deal for our family to make a trip to the East Coast from Hawaii 🙂 Hope you get a chance to go to the Library of Congress soon!

  4. If I make it, I promise to blog about it! I wouldn’t mind a chance to see Hawaii either. I enjoy seeing your photos. 🙂

  5. must dip into some of her writing – glad you brought this to my attention–I think I knew about her but she was never really on my radar until now
    that smile–that was her son taking her pic before she was ready–that is what my son did just before he left to go back to school on Monday–I made him at least take one where my eyes were open for my FB

  6. Visiting DC is on the BIG list. Since the MEPA is from Virginia a trip east is inevitable. Visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian top the list.

  7. I so agree… familiarity with its setting makes reading a book that much better! I read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons while visiting Rome and enjoyed it SO much more because I was able to visit (most of) the places mentioned. (I’m also with you on wanting to tour the Library of Congress… I didn’t realize that was a possibility!)

  8. I’ll have to check out her work. Her father was an interesting person actually one of the better presidents.


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