Books set in Washington, D.C.

Written by:
September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Washington, D.C.

Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford's series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in "their" state.

Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard's "In Zanesville," respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in Washington, D.C. from Goodreads. Whether you're looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you're looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you're already familiar with, we've got you covered.

1 / 49
Goodreads

Red, White & Royal Blue

- Rating: 4.16 (603,190 ratings)
- Author: Casey McQuiston
- Published: May 14, 2019
- Genres: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Fiction
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2 / 49
Goodreads

Where You Lead

- Rating: 4.60 (65 ratings)
- Author: Leslea Wahl
- Published: September 15, 2018
- Genres: Christian Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Christian
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3 / 49
Goodreads

Digital Fortress

- Rating: 3.68 (607,991 ratings)
- Author: Dan Brown
- Published: February 1, 1998
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
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4 / 49
Goodreads

Murder in the White House (Capital Crimes, #1)

- Rating: 3.71 (2,728 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1980
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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5 / 49
Goodreads

Murder in the Smithsonian (Capital Crimes, #4)

- Rating: 3.73 (1,672 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1983
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
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6 / 49
Goodreads

Murder at the National Cathedral (Capital Crimes, #10)

- Rating: 3.74 (1,246 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1990
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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7 / 49
Goodreads

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)

- Rating: 3.73 (575,848 ratings)
- Author: Dan Brown
- Published: September 15, 2009
- Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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8 / 49
Goodreads

Murder on Capitol Hill (Capital Crimes, #2)

- Rating: 3.79 (1,536 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1981
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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9 / 49
Goodreads

Term Limits

- Rating: 4.32 (34,391 ratings)
- Author: Vince Flynn
- Published: December 31, 1997
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Action
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10 / 49
Goodreads

Murder at the Kennedy Center (Capital Crimes, #9)

- Rating: 3.83 (1,170 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1989
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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11 / 49
Goodreads

President Darcy: A Modern Pride and Prejudice Variation

- Rating: 4.03 (363 ratings)
- Author: Victoria Kincaid
- Published: October 10, 2017
- Genres: Romance, Retellings, Contemporary, Fiction
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12 / 49
Goodreads

The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

- Rating: 3.65 (2,098 ratings)
- Author: Dana Bate
- Published: December 6, 2012
- Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
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13 / 49
Goodreads

A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

- Rating: 3.96 (4,285 ratings)
- Author: Ron Suskind
- Published: January 1, 1998
- Genres: Nonfiction, Education, Biography, Memoir
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14 / 49
Goodreads

Advise and Consent (Advise and Consent, #1)

- Rating: 4.09 (9,687 ratings)
- Author: Allen Drury
- Published: July 11, 1959
- Genres: Fiction, Politics, Historical Fiction, Classics
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15 / 49
Goodreads

You Are the Love of My Life

- Rating: 3.15 (819 ratings)
- Author: Susan Richards Shreve
- Published: August 20, 2012
- Genres: Fiction, Romance, Novels, Relationships
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16 / 49
Goodreads

The Swamp: Washington's Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It

- Rating: 4.04 (472 ratings)
- Author: Eric Bolling
- Published: June 27, 2017
- Genres: Politics, Nonfiction, History, Audiobook
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Goodreads

Discontents: The Disappearance of a Young Radical

- Rating: 4.08 (38 ratings)
- Author: James Wallace Birch
- Published: July 25, 2011
- Genres: Social Movements, Activism, Contemporary
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18 / 49
Goodreads

State of Terror

- Rating: 4.12 (59,027 ratings)
- Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Published: October 12, 2021
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Audiobook
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19 / 49
Goodreads

Girl's Guide to Witchcraft (Jane Madison, #1)

- Rating: 3.69 (6,476 ratings)
- Author: Mindy Klasky
- Published: September 26, 2006
- Genres: Chick Lit, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
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20 / 49
Goodreads

Red Swan

- Rating: 3.81 (470 ratings)
- Author: P.T. Deutermann
- Published: August 22, 2017
- Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Espionage, Mystery
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21 / 49
Goodreads

The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington

- Rating: 3.34 (2,231 ratings)
- Author: Jennet Conant
- Published: January 1, 2008
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, World War II
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22 / 49
Goodreads

River, Cross My Heart

- Rating: 3.50 (13,614 ratings)
- Author: Breena Clarke
- Published: July 1, 1999
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, African American, Contemporary
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23 / 49
Goodreads

Fright Court (Fright Court, #1)

- Rating: 3.96 (994 ratings)
- Author: Mindy Klasky
- Published: March 22, 2011
- Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal Romance
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24 / 49
Goodreads

The Inner Circle (Culper Ring, #1)

- Rating: 3.80 (23,068 ratings)
- Author: Brad Meltzer
- Published: January 11, 2011
- Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
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25 / 49
Goodreads

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

- Rating: 3.70 (7,779 ratings)
- Author: Dinaw Mengestu
- Published: March 1, 2007
- Genres: Fiction, Africa, Ethiopia, Contemporary
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26 / 49
Goodreads

Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation

- Rating: 3.93 (478 ratings)
- Author: Deborah Davis
- Published: May 8, 2012
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Politics, Presidents
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27 / 49
Goodreads

Secret Lives of the First Ladies

- Rating: 3.78 (1,767 ratings)
- Author: Cormac O'Brien
- Published: May 1, 2005
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, Historical
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Goodreads

Murder and the First Lady (Eleanor Roosevelt, #1)

- Rating: 3.73 (494 ratings)
- Author: Elliott Roosevelt
- Published: January 1, 1984
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
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Goodreads

Murder at the Watergate (Capital Crimes, #15)

- Rating: 3.64 (861 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1998
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Murder Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Murder on Embassy Row (Capital Crimes, #5)

- Rating: 3.80 (1,051 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1984
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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31 / 49
Goodreads

Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9)

- Rating: 4.25 (8,506 ratings)
- Author: Suzanne Brockmann
- Published: July 12, 2005
- Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Military Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
32 / 49
Goodreads

Murder In The Supreme Court (Capital Crimes, #3)

- Rating: 3.78 (1,422 ratings)
- Author: Margaret Truman
- Published: January 1, 1982
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Prince Joe (Tall, Dark & Dangerous, #1)

- Rating: 3.96 (6,159 ratings)
- Author: Suzanne Brockmann
- Published: May 1, 1996
- Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Military Fiction, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
34 / 49
Goodreads

Murder in the Oval Office (Eleanor Roosevelt, #6)

- Rating: 3.72 (254 ratings)
- Author: Elliott Roosevelt
- Published: January 1, 1989
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
35 / 49
Goodreads

The White House Murder (Eleanor Roosevelt, #4)

- Rating: 3.71 (253 ratings)
- Author: Elliott Roosevelt
- Published: March 1, 1987
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
36 / 49
Goodreads

Preserve & Protect

- Rating: 3.86 (260 ratings)
- Author: Allen Drury
- Published: January 1, 1968
- Genres: Fiction, Politics, Historical Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
37 / 49
Goodreads

Monkey Bridge

- Rating: 3.49 (1,142 ratings)
- Author: Lan Cao
- Published: January 1, 1997
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Asian Literature, Literature
- Read more on Goodreads
38 / 49
Goodreads

Rose Faces the Music

- Rating: 3.21 (75 ratings)
- Author: Laura E. Williams
- Published: May 14, 1998
- Genres: Fantasy, Childrens, Fiction, Juvenile
- Read more on Goodreads
39 / 49
Goodreads

Law of Attraction (Anna Curtis, #1)

- Rating: 3.73 (2,152 ratings)
- Author: Allison Leotta
- Published: October 12, 2010
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
40 / 49
Goodreads

Kalorama Shakedown (The Harry Reese Mysteries, #3)

- Rating: 3.31 (573 ratings)
- Author: Robert Bruce Stewart
- Published: June 13, 2013
- Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cozy Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
41 / 49
Goodreads

Nice to Come Home To

- Rating: 3.34 (1,295 ratings)
- Author: Rebecca Flowers
- Published: January 1, 2008
- Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Adult Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
42 / 49
Goodreads

My Name Is Mary Sutter (Mary Sutter, #1)

- Rating: 3.83 (24,187 ratings)
- Author: Robin Oliveira
- Published: May 13, 2010
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Civil War, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads
43 / 49
Goodreads

Graffiti Hack

- Rating: 3.58 (19 ratings)
- Author: Elen Ghulam
- Published: January 1, 2014
- Genres: Humor
- Read more on Goodreads
44 / 49
Goodreads

The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2)

- Rating: 3.90 (10,498 ratings)
- Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
- Published: May 1, 2012
- Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
45 / 49
Goodreads

Risking It All (Naked Men, #1)

- Rating: 3.69 (529 ratings)
- Author: Christi Barth
- Published: March 8, 2016
- Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Military Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
46 / 49
Goodreads

One-Off (Scottish Charm, #1)

- Rating: 4.13 (659 ratings)
- Author: Lynn Galli
- Published: March 26, 2015
- Genres: Lesbian, Romance, LGBT, Lesbian Romance
- Read more on Goodreads
47 / 49
Goodreads

The Sea of Tears: A Novel

- Rating: 3.65 (34 ratings)
- Author: Nani Power
- Published: December 8, 2004
- Genres: Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
48 / 49
Goodreads

No Way to Treat a First Lady

- Rating: 3.79 (3,649 ratings)
- Author: Christopher Buckley
- Published: January 1, 2002
- Genres: Fiction, Humor, Politics, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
49 / 49
Goodreads

Rebecca Tree

- Rating: 3.88 (77 ratings)
- Author: Michael Abramson
- Published: March 27, 2016
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads

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