Harvest House Publishers (January 15, 2009)
Espionage, missing documents related to President Lincoln’s assassination, a contemporary murder followed by the documents disappearing once again make for an adventure and a challenge for mystery and puzzle lovers alike. A cryptic verse supposedly straight from the document in question requires more than expert decoding in order to determine the meaning and authenticity. Are the pages that incited this high profile case truly from the Diary of Lincoln’s alleged attacker, is the verse recorded from the imprint on a blank notepad page a fraud or real and does it have a meaning that could unlock another mystery over a century old?
This may not be a cozy mystery per se but this author definitely combines suspense and just a taste of romance in a plot that kept me turning pages from start to finish. When the government gets involved in their own history as well as current crimes one never knows whether they are embroiled in new cover ups or safeguarding old ones from discovery. Will J D Blackstone recognize the truth if it is present and can his experts prove their theories are not merely speculation but based in fact derived from careful examination of the clues still available to them? I just may have found a new author to add to my favorites list and a different genre to fall in love with. Parshall’s style and plot are somewhat reminiscent of elements in the Disney blockbuster National Treasure but definitely not written with such a young audience in mind. Teens might enjoy this but it is truly an adult novel in terms of complexity of plot and characters. (ISBN#9780736915144, 368pp, $13.99)