Richard Belzer, long known to television viewers as Detective Munch on "Law and Order," has tried his hand at real-life detective work and managed to pull off a best-selling history book. "Dead Wrong," a detailed account of 10 deaths that he believes were orchestrated or at least covered up by the government. Among the figures discussed: John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Marilyn Monroe.

Belzer, who was in town last week for Bethesda Row's Writers on the Row literary festival, tells Yeas & Nays that the success of the book shocked him and his publisher because of the controversial subject matter. He acknowledges that his celebrity might have played a role in sales. "They've been seeing me for 20 years every day on television," he said. "There might be some subconscious credibility." Mostly though, he credits the meticulous research done by himself and co-writer David Wayne.

"The thing I'm most proud of is that it's in the history section, not the entertainment or conspiracy section," Belzer said of his book. He added, "No one has to this day been able to dispute what's in the book."