Friday, February 8, 2008

In Praise of Margaret Truman

Everyone seems to remember Margaret Truman as the daughter of Harry Truman, often more specifically the soloist whose negative review caused her papa to threaten the reviewer with a broken nose and a black eye.

I remember her as a wonderful storyteller and my source for a hundred specific images of the Washington, DC she knew so well.

NPL's collection contains many of the DC based mysteries Margaret Truman wrote. I have read them all, first because I wanted to immerse myself in the atmosphere of that city, and then simply because they were good, good fun.

Her passing last week came as a surprise to me, since her latest novel, Murder on K Street, has just moved out of cataloging and onto the shelf. I was so pleased to see it; "eighty-three and still writing!" I remember glowing inwardly as I entered its ISBN into the system. I resolved to write her a note of admiration and praise.

As is too often the case, I am too late. I won't be able to pass on my compliments to the lady, but I can pass on my high regard to you. Should you like an insider tour of our nation's Capitol and some pretty good mysteries, do pick up a Margaret Truman mystery.

Her papa would have been proud.