In her second picture book about the Pinkertons (Kate Warne, Pinkerton Detective, 2017), Moss brings to light the agency’s prevention of an early assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln.
Allan Pinkerton “had sharp eyes, a quick mind, and a hunger for justice.” In 1860, Pinkerton and his detective agency were hired to protect president-elect Lincoln on the train journey to his inauguration. Secessionists were plotting to assassinate Lincoln in Baltimore, before he could reach Washington and become president. Thanks to careful planning and the hard work of many agents (including Kate Warne), Pinkerton was able to safely escort Lincoln to his destination and prevent this early assassination attempt. Moss’ prose is clear and engaging, filled with intriguing details. Pages with images in panels are interspersed with full-page spreads, and Pinkerton himself is frequently shown with a beam of light emanating from his oversized golden-yellow half-moon eyes. With a palette of dusty jewel tones, Holmes’ digitally rendered scratchboard illustrations are bold and intriguing. However, the book’s busy, heavily stylized design frequently dominates the text and hampers the narrative flow, often causing the text and illustrations to feel disjointed. A timeline, artist’s note, author’s note, endnotes, and bibliography are included. Index unseen.
Design flaws aside, a thorough and compelling introduction to Pinkerton’s work. (Informational picture book. 6-9)