Veterans Day is a suspenseful, humorous Washington thriller for mystery fans featuring a razor sharp detective Mary Jane Morris and saturated with interesting D.C places and history. With the aid of an eclectic group of allies, including her boyfriend doctor, the head of a shelter for homeless Vets, a reporter for the City Paper, and an Annapolis naval strategist, she follows the trail of her partner’s killer to a conspiracy to bring down the Veterans Administration and in the ensuing chaos steal hundreds of millions. To deal with the stress, Mary Jane kayaks on the Potomac with her dog, tinkers with her antique Land Rover that has surprises under the hood, and savors single malts on the porch of her old riverfront house.
Washington, D.C. May 1, 2017. – Margaret Truman made Washington a world capital for tales of intrigue and murder in her celebrated mysteries set among the rich and powerful. But there’s a trouble-making new detective in town, Mary Jane Morris in J. J. Jorgens’ tense and entertaining new murder mystery Veterans Day.
Mary Jane Morris is a skilled D.C. detective with a hot temper whose investigation of her partner’s apparent draws her into a web of corruption and a sinister plot to rob millions from the Veterans Administration.
Mary Jane’s gritty Washington is wider and more eclectic than Margaret Truman’s. A master of disguise, the detective can blend in among mansions, embassies, and marble halls of power. But she is also at home in Adams Morgan, Little Ethiopia, and Chinatown. She trails suspects to eateries with a past like the Florida Avenue Grill where Martin Luther king ate soul food and planned the 1963 march on Washington, and the Pig’s Foot in Georgetown where a Russian spy escaped his CIA handlers by climbing out of a bathroom window.
She usually hangs out on the front porch of her old riverfront house in Alexandria, or at the funky Belle Haven Marina with “kanoes and cayaks for rent.” Her vehicle of choice isn’t a Mercedes, but a beat up Land Rover with surprises under the hood. Her favorite drink? Single malt. How does she stay in shape? Not a chic health club, but kayaking on the Potomac with her black lab.
The D.C. Police say Mary Jane is trouble because she solves mysteries they can’t, and she doesn’t play by the rules. She is a favorite of reporters because they can always find her in the middle of some sensational case. Her eccentric network of informants and allies include a reporter for The City Paper with a precocious teen-aged son, the head of a shelter for homeless veterans, and an Algonquian Potomac fisherman. Also a Land Rover salesman, a Naval war strategist in Annapolis, and her handsome Uruguayan doctor boyfriend who lives in the Watergate. Her contacts on Embassy Row aren’t just ambassadors and spies, but the waiters, maids, and chauffeurs who know where the bodies are buried.
Near the End: "Sitting here in the dark waiting for the men who are coming to kill me, I thought I would pass the time by writing my obituary. Mary Jane Morris was thirty-eight years old. Disillusioned with lawyering, she became a private investigator. She was a good friend and a bad enemy, and had a fair amount of courage and some talent in reading people and solving mysteries. She loved her dogs, kayaking, single-malt scotch, her beat up Land Rover and her house by the river filled with old things, and her handsome doctor boyfriend Lorenzo Romolo. She hated people who victimize the vulnerable, and sometimes she went outside of the law to see that they were punished. When last seen Mary Jane was investigating her partner's death and a conspiracy to cheat veterans of their medical care and benefits. I have to stop now because the dog is growling and someone is at the door."
In the second Mary Jane Morris mystery (out in May), Death in Costa Rica, faced with a seemingly unsolvable homicide case, stressed out Mary Jane escapes to her aunt's seaside hotel in Costa Rica hoping for a few weeks of relaxation. But it turns into the vacation from Hell. She is caught up in a spider’s web of counterfeit pre-Columbian art, crooked land deals, and murder, and the spider is out to kill her.