Book Review: Maggie Sefton’s Deadly Politics

Posted November 19, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Maggie Sefton’s Deadly Politics

Deadly Politics

on August 8, 2012 and has 275 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Molly Malone mystery suspense series featuring Molly, an accountant who wants nothing to do with the politics that destroyed her first husband’s life. But ends up back in Washington D.C. to her horror!

I was conflicted as to whether to give this a “3” for the minimal tension/drama or a “4” for the twists Sefton has created and the warm characters whom I like. Since Goodreads and Amazon don’t accept halfway measures, I’m choosing the “4”, if only because there is a promise in this start to Sefton’s Molly Malone Mystery series.

My Take

It’s a combination of Memory Lane and the brutal ins and out of politics, with its need to schmooze and its desire to stab. And yet there’s a warmth in this. Warm, caring characters. Including a politician who wants to do right…who knew!?? Oh, wait, I forgot. This is fiction. Sigh…Ah well, I’ll take an honest politician wherever I can get him.

For all the politics Washington is known for, obviously, this story is more concerned with Washington social life and how it affects a politician’s life.

Sefton is a bit obvious in her set up for the overall theme series, but she does well in leaving the reader [me!] in suspense. I want Molly to find the buggers behind this all and take them down. I also want to watch her relationships with Russell, Brewster, and ESPECIALLY Danny progress. Ooh-la-la… Or maybe it’s all those lovely seafood meals…?

I got so hungry for oysters, crab, and shrimp reading about the meals Molly and Danny shared.

It was interesting that Sefton presents all these possibilities from Karen’s Daytimer, her computer files and emails, and her dad’s journals, but Molly doesn’t investigate that. She’s more concerned with listening to her intuition, but at least she’s smart to enough to hold back for Casey and Danny.

The Story

Jeff Parker is one of many in D.C. and his latest real estate deal got yanked. He can’t hire on Molly Malone no matter how much Deb threatens him. But it’s all about the contacts, and Molly’s niece, Karen Grayson, finds her a job. Admittedly, it’s not at all the job she would consider, but, Patricia’s bill comes the end of the month and Molly needs that money.

Molly does her best to throw the interview, but they want her too bad and throw in too many perks. It’s a done deal and word quickly spreads. Including to some old friends.

It’s a seemingly senseless murder that throws Molly’s return to her old stomping grounds into a nightmare. Some poor choices on the part of many leads the bad guys to tidy up.

The Characters

Molly Malone was raised in Arlington while her father was a senator. She married David Grayson from Colorado who became a senator and, after the attacks that led to his death, she fled to Colorado with their daughters and swore never to return. Her mom is in a retirement center. And she gets to stay as long as Molly can pay for a personal companion, Patricia O’Toole. DD is too good to be true. Danny DiMateo, a.k.a., Damned Dangerous, is an old high school friend. He’s been a career Marine since he enlisted in 1969 right out of high school. He retired five years ago and now works private security. And he’s very interested in taking up his old friendship with Molly. He’s an absolute rock.

Aunt Molly is Karen Grayson’s only family. Karen’s dad, Eric Grayson, took on David’s senate seat when he died. Ten years after that, Eric and Cheryl, his wife, Karen’s mother, died as well. I have lots of suspicions…) Now, Karen works for Congressman Jackson and Jed Molinoff is his chief of staff. Celeste Allard is a friend of Karen’s from Jackson’s office. She has some concerns.

Nan and Deb are Molly’s cousins and oldest childhood friends. The ladies run a catering firm now—Babson Sisters, Entertaining by Design. Nan is married to Bill Anderson, an attorney; Deb is married to Mike Beringer. Samantha Suffolk is another old friend of Molly’s. One who was the picture of political perfection until her second husband, Senator Beauregard Calhoun, died. Now she’s making up for lost time.

John Russell is the new Independent senator from Colorado and he greatly admired Molly’s dad. Peter Brewster is his brash chief of staff. Casey is a former Marine who now works security for Russell. Luisa is his housekeeper and her husband, Albert, is his driver.

Eleanor MacKenzie is a formidable woman in Washington social circles. Luckily she had taken Molly under her wing when she was still in high school. Senator Alan Baker and his wife Brenda are also old friends of the Malones. Aggie is a longtime server in Washington. She remembers serving at Molly’s dad’s parties and how much her dad loved her. Congressman Henry Baylor and his wife Mary are too innocent for Washington. Senator Sol Karpinsky is one of their victims and one of Samantha’s special friends. Too strong and moral for what they want. Detective Schroeder of the Washington D.C. PD investigates.

The Bad Guys…
Raymond. Larry Fillmore is a smarmy, violent man who has been tossed from more offices for his bad behavior. Now, he’s infiltrating Jackson’s office. Congressman Edward Ryker is scum. Unfortunately, he’s ironclad scum. Spencer. Senator Dunston, the new chairman of the Banking committee, replacing the recently deceased Karpinsky, is already deep in their debt. The Epsilon Group, a financial think tank, is mentioned a lot; they seem to be the bad guys. They certainly attract a lot of unsavory types.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an interesting collage. At first glance, it appears sweet and peaceful. The cherry blossoms that proliferate in Washington D.C., that remind Molly of her first kiss, and the Capitol dome in the upper right, but underlying it are the shadows of a web, or is it cracked glass?, as well as that of a gun. I did like the patriotic border crossing under Sefton’s name.

The title is too true and what Molly has feared for too long. In Washington D.C., it is Deadly Politics for anyone trying to survive in our nation’s capitol.


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