A pall hangs over Washington, D.C., as the citizens await an imminent attack by Confederate forces.
On April 13, 1861, Fort Sumter is fired upon and the war begins. In the White House, Abraham Lincoln awaits Northern troops to protect the city from Rebel forces just over the bridge in Virginia. Adam Speed Quinn, who still serves as a special assistant to the president, is given such jobs as finding murderers (Murder in the Lincoln White House, 2017). Sen. Jim Lane, a friend from Quinn’s days in Kansas, is organizing a small group of volunteers to protect the city until more troops arrive. The shabby White House is so dangerously open to members of the public who want to talk to Lincoln that when one of the volunteers is found in the Oval Library with his throat cut, it’s difficult for Quinn to find the killer. He gets help from Sophie Gates, a young reporter who often dresses as a man to get her stories, and from Dr. George Hilton, an African-American who risks his life doing autopsies for Quinn. Soon after the beautiful, strong-willed Southerner Constance Lemagne insists on helping by drawing a picture of the dead man, who’s known as Johnny Thorne, Hilton reveals that the corpse is actually that of a woman. As Northern troops attacked in Maryland fight their way to Washington, Quinn and his friends spread rumors that many troops are hidden in the city. But they’re still surprised when each night passes without an attack. Sophie and Quinn both interview people looking for clues as Quinn works to defend the District. Does it even matter whether they’ll find the killer when the city may be overrun and Lincoln captured, changing the course of history?
An excellent mystery combined with brilliant historical detail.