Title:                      Capitol Offense

Author:                  Barbara Mikulski

Mikulski, Senator Barbara (1996) and Mary Louise Oates. Capitol Offense. New York: Dutton

LCCN:    96017107

PS3563.I371564 C36 1996


Date Posted:      October 20, 2014

Mikulski, a U.S. senator from Maryland, and journalist Oates prove they’re no “Anonymous” as they launch this novel of political puffery with a mystery trailing in its wake. Eleanor “Norrie” Gorzack, newly sworn in to replace Pennsylvania’s deceased senator (he died at a polka marathon), makes the papers when a veteran trying to reach her through a crowd is murdered by insulin injection. Norrie disbelieves the murder is related to odd anonymous phone calls and to hate mail suggesting she has swiped what should be a man’s job; even so, tall, handsome and ineffectual Lt. Thomas Carver, who is investigating for the Capitol Police, advises caution.

There’s little time for any kind of reflection, however, as Norrie struggles to secure political allies and races to learn on the job, a process explored in considerable, fairly uncritical detail. As the wife of a Navy officer, MIA in Vietnam, the new senator is dedicated to her work on the select committee on MIAs. She takes it hard when the staffer researching that area is murdered—with professionalism reminiscent of the vet’s death–just as she completes her report. With Lt. Carver contributing little to this Disney-ized political tale, it’s fortunate that stump-speech Norrie (“the citizens…are the government”) has the luck and the smarts to solve the crimes and even discover the fate of some MIAs along the way.

Finished Reading October 19, 2014

This book was also a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book selection (1997, Vol. 229, #1, pp. 477-573).


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