The new arrival of a woman named Mary Todd wedges a rift between Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, but they must resolve their differences if they stand any chance of cracking one of the most harrowing murder cases they have ever faced.
In the winter of 1839, a sensational disappearance rocks Springfield, Illinois, as headlines announce a local man has accused his two brothers of murder. Not one to pass up an opportunity, Abraham Lincoln takes up the case of the accused with the assistance of his best friend Joshua Speed to search for evidence of innocence.
But just as soon as they begin, Lincoln and Speed find their friendship at grave risk of rupture as they vie for the hand a beautiful new arrival in town: an ambitious, outspoken young woman named Mary Todd. As the trial arrives, can Lincoln and Speed put aside their differences to work together for justice once more? An innocent man’s life may be in the balance—and nothing is as it seems.
Re-imagining one of the greatest unsolved murder mysteries from Abraham Lincoln’s real-life trial cases, A House Divided is the most captivating Lincoln and Speed mystery yet from expert Lincoln scholar Jonathan F. Putnam.
Twenty-nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln has spent his entire adult life running from his past—from the poverty of the dirt-floor log cabin where he was raised, from the dominion of his uneducated father, and from a failed early courtship. But now, Lincoln’s past is racing back to haunt him.
It is the summer of 1838, and Springfield is embroiled in a tumultuous, violent political season. All of Springfield’s elite have gathered at a grand party to celebrate the Fourth of July. Spirits are high—until a prominent local politician is assassinated in the midst of fireworks. When his political rival is arrested, young lawyer Lincoln and his best friend Joshua Speed are back on the case to investigate.
It’s no ordinary trial, however, as Lincoln and Speed soon face unwelcome complications. Lincoln’s ne’er-do-well father and stepbrother appear in town and threaten Lincoln’s good name and political future. And before long, anonymous letters start appearing in the local newspapers, with ominous threats that make Lincoln fear for himself and his loved ones.
As the day of reckoning arrives, the threats against Lincoln continue to escalate. Lincoln and Speed must identify the culprit and fast, before Lincoln loses the race to outrun his past in Final Resting Place, the brilliant third installment of Jonathan F. Putnam’s acclaimed Lincoln and Speed mysteries.
A murder aboard a steamboat forces Abraham Lincoln to make a fateful choice—one on which the future of the nation may hang, if his client doesn’t first—in this gripping follow-up to critically acclaimed author Jonathan Putnam’s “masterfully crafted” (Alex Grecian) debut, These Honored Dead.
Newly minted trial lawyer Abraham Lincoln is riding the circuit, traveling by carriage with other lawyers and a judge to bring justice to the remote parts of Illinois. Meanwhile, Lincoln’s close friend Joshua Speed steams up the Mississippi River aboard a steamboat owned by Speed’s father. Suddenly, his journey is interrupted when a rigged card game turns to violence—and then murder.
Speed enlists Lincoln to defend the accused, but soon they come to discover that more than just the card games are crooked aboard the Speed family’s ship. As the day of judgment hurtles toward them, Lincoln must fight to save the life of his client while also preserving the cause he holds so dear.
Meticulously researched and deftly plotted, Jonathan F. Putnam’s second Lincoln and Speed mystery, Perish from the Earth, revolves around a true historical murder that, while nearly forgotten today, was one of the most infamous crimes of the nineteenth century and played a key role in driving the nation toward civil war.
Joshua Speed, the enterprising second son of a wealthy plantation owner, has struck off on his own. But before long, he makes a surprising and crucial new acquaintance—a freshly minted lawyer by the name of Abraham Lincoln.
When an orphaned girl from a neighboring town is found murdered and suspicion falls on her aunt, Speed makes it his mission to clear her good name. Of course, he’ll need the legal expertise of his unusual new friend. Together, Lincoln and Speed fight to bring justice to their small town. But as more bodies are discovered and the investigation starts to come apart at the seams, there’s one question on everyone’s lips: does Lincoln have what it takes to crack his first murder case?
Inspired by actual events from the American frontier, Jonathan Putnam’s thrilling debut These Honored Dead brings renewed verve and vigor to the historical mystery genre that readers haven’t seen since Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.