Suspense from US to Europe; Murder in the Supreme Court, by Margaret Truman. New York: Arbor House. 284 pp. Ceremony, by Robert B. Parker. New York: Dela-corte. 182 pp. $12.95. State's Evidence, by Stephen Greenleaf. New York: Dial Press. 310 pp. $15.95. Raven's Revenge, by Donald MacKenzie. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 167 pp. $10.95. Maigret Has Doubts, by Georges Simenon. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 145 pp. $10.95.
Margaret Truman is steadily working her way through the nation's capital in her crime novels. First came ''Murder in the White House,'' and then ''Murder on Capitol Hill,'' and now ''Murder in the Supreme Court.''Skip to next paragraph
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The victim is Clarence Sutherland, the bright, ambitious, and obnoxious chief clerk of the court. He meets his end while sitting in the chair of the chief justice, which he dreams of occupying one day.
Because Sutherland would stop short of nothing to advance his career - even blackmail of the court's justices - the list of suspects Lt. Martin Teller and Susanna Pinscher must consider includes three members of the high court bench.
Truman provides an un-flattering insider's look at power politics in Washington. It's easy to overlook the sometimes slight characterizations here, because the plot clips along and provides good intrigue by an adept writer.
''Ceremony'' is typical of vintage Parker. Spenser must locate April Kyle, a teen-age runaway who fled the comforts of suburbia for Boston's ''Combat Zone.''
Spenser's friend, Hawk, is here, as usual, to provide muscle, and Susan is here, too, to offer solace and love. The inevitable assortment of seedy criminal types also inhabit ''Ceremony.''
The plot raises a moral question, however. In the end Spenser must decide whether April - who emphatically does not want to live with her uncaring parents - might not be better off in the high-class bordello. His role as moral arbiter here will very likely bother some readers, but all can agree that the social issues touched on by Parker shouldn't be ignored.
In another new book, Stephen Greenleaf's John Marshall Tanner is as good a private eye as can be found in today's fiction.
The plot of Greenleaf's third mystery, ''State's Evidence,'' owes much to the Ross MacDonald tradition in overall cast - a simple case of hit-and-run mushrooms into a complicated plot with convoluted family connections, many dark secrets, skeletons rattling in closets.
There is tough action here, but the violence isn't gratuitous. The characters are well drawn, the Chand-leresque wisecracking si-miles occur in abundance, and the writing is first-rate.
John Raven is now retired from Scotland Yard, and trying to live a peaceful life aboard his houseboat with his photographer girl-friend Kirstie. But George Drake, the crooked cop Raven put in jail in an earlier adventure, is out now and ready to even the score.
In Donald MacKenzie's ''Raven's Revenge,'' Drake plants heroin on the house-boat and in Kirstie's camera, and stages a raid. Ra-ven escapes and, of course, ultimately clears himself with much help from his good friend, detective-inspector Jerry Soo. One of the better Raven mysteries.
''Maigret Has Doubts'' was first published in France in 1959, and only now is it available in this country in a fine translation by Lyn Moir. In this tale, Maigret and his wife are having dinner with their good friends Dr. and Mrs. Pardon, and Maigret recalls for his friend the Josset case.
Maigret has always doubted that Josset killed his wife, and he was correct, but his superiors and public opinion pegged Josset as guilty from the start. Si-menon tells the story succinctly, with his usual penetrating insights into the workings of the mind.