Capital Crimes: The Best Washington D.C. Crime Novels

Capital Crimes: The Best Washington D.C. Crime NovelsAesop, the Greek fabulist and storyteller, once said: “We hang petty thieves and appoint the great thieves to public office.” This goes to show you that people have been skeptical of politicians for about as long as there have been politicians. And where do you find the most politicians? That’s right: Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. makes for a great setting for crime novels, because most everyone assumes politicians are at best dishonest, and at worst, criminals. And it’s also the capital of the United States, and home to the White House, the Pentagon, and many more of the most important monuments in the country.

So put that all together, and you have plenty of material for political thrillers, as well as straight-up big city crime novels set in D.C. And there are a LOT of them. How does one get started with so many to chose from? Luckily, this list has 13 great crime novels set in D.C. to help you with your decision. Because it wouldn’t be a list about Washington, D.C. if someone wasn’t trying to sway your opinion, now would it?




Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.