Detective Novel Unravels Mystery Behind Lincoln’s Assassination in Grand Fashion

Reading The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien was a mysterious thrill ride through history to a time shortly after President Lincoln’s assassination.  Presidential history has always intrigued historians, but has become a mainstream topic currently with politics, conspiracy theories, and intrigue heating up the entertainment industry. Books and movies about Abraham Lincoln, or the surrounding era and issues, seem to be at the forefront of material.  O’Brien’s new book fits right in as a must-read for your Holiday vacation or as a gift for someone you know who loves historical mysteries!!

Read on to find out more about the book, my thoughts, and ENTER TO WIN your very own copy or to give as a gift!

About the Book: The Lincoln Conspiracy

Publication Date: September 18, 2012 | Ballantine Books | 368p

DESCRIPTION: A nation shattered by its president’s murder. Two diaries that reveal the true scope of an American conspiracy. A detective determined to bring the truth to light, no matter what it costs him

From award-winning journalist Timothy L. O’Brien comes a gripping historical thriller that poses a provocative question: What if the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was wider and more sinister than we ever imagined?

In late spring of 1865, as America mourns the death of its leader, Washington, D.C., police detective Temple McFadden makes a startling discovery. Strapped to the body of a dead man at the B&O Railroad station are two diaries, two documents that together reveal the true depth of the Lincoln conspiracy. Securing the diaries will put Temple’s life in jeopardy—and will endanger the fragile peace of a nation still torn by war.

Temple’s quest to bring the conspirators to justice takes him on a perilous journey through the gaslit streets of the Civil War–era capital, into bawdy houses and back alleys where ruthless enemies await him in every shadowed corner. Aided by an underground network of friends—and by his wife, Fiona, a nurse who possesses a formidable arsenal of medicinal potions—Temple must stay one step ahead of Lafayette Baker, head of the Union Army’s spy service. Along the way, he’ll run from or rely on Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s fearsome secretary of war; the legendary Scottish spymaster Allan Pinkerton; abolitionist Sojourner Truth; the photographer Alexander Gardner; and many others.

Bristling with twists and building to a climax that will leave readers gasping, The Lincoln Conspiracy offers a riveting new account of what truly motivated the assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents—and who participated in the plot to derail the train of liberty that Lincoln set in motion.

So what are my thought after reading?

I was set to get into a good historical mystery in a world of men, but was pleasantly surprised at meeting such a strong woman, Fiona, within the first few chapters. I always love feisty women, but especially from an era such as the latter part of the 1800s when women were considered second-class citizens. I am always encouraged by the women who break those limits and boundries.  Yes, how dare she wear pants! Yes, how dare she be intelligent! Yes, that is sarcasm.  I loved her determination. Showcasing her was a great way for O’Brien to set us up into meeting our Washington D.C. Irish-American detective Temple McFadden (her husband)!

Detective McFadden certainly finds himself caught up in a myriad of historical machinations.  O’Brien does a superb job of mixing historical possibilities in a time period he researched and chronicled extremely well. There were many characters to sort out, but that was reminiscent to me of the time period when it always seemed so many hands stirred the pot. I didn’t think they were hard to keep track of if you really stayed focused on the book, which wasn’t hard since the mystery kept me turning the pages.  O’Brien pens fluidly and Journalistic short sentence structure served him well in this book.  I felt many of the characters, especially McFadden and Fiona, truly came to life off the page and became acquaintances in my own life. I can’t wait to continue on being engaged in more mystery with such a unique couple.

If you like historical detectives like Sherlock Holmes, you’re sure to love this book. It will make a great series in that regard. I know I am a huge fan of international detective novels, but having a duo in such a volatile time period of American history is really compelling as well. A fan of history, I think I rather liked this book more as a mystery thriller. I enjoy secret diaries and papers and de-coding, so this book also fit well into that category for me. I loved how he set-up the plot with these diaries.

It was not surprising to me that he chose the route of detective mystery in creating this book, as Journalism (which is O’Brien’s profession as well as mine) is so closely related to gumshoe research sometimes! I am sure he researched this time period as well as his fictional “case” much like he would a Pulitzer prize-winning article. Uncovering the truth is something both Journalists and criminal investigators have in common. I think O’Brien did an excellent job creating and solving this mystery based on vintage thoughts surrounding the truths of Lincoln’s murder.  America’s obsession with dead Presidents and their conspiracies now has another fantastical resolution to ponder!

I can’t wait to see what else Temple and Fiona take on in the next book. For now, don’t miss the opportunity to get your hands on The Lincoln Conspiracy!  Come back to my blog tomorrow (11/27/12) for an exclusive interview with the author Timothy O’Brien as he discusses his book and writing with me.

I was given this book as part of The Lincoln Conspiracy blog tour; however, all opinions expressed are my own.  To check out more tour dates, interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and more, click on the tour button below.


One (1) copy of Timothy L. O’Brien’s The Lincoln Conspiracy! To enter to win, please leave a comment below on my blog including e-mail to get in touch if you win, a note on Twitter to @ErinAlMehairi, or e-mail me to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.  Only those who leave e-mail for notification will be considered. Enter no later than 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2012.  Winner will be randomly chosen on Dec. 2 and notified. This giveaway is for US only.

Gain one extra entry for each extra thing you do:  Like my blog, Follow me on Twitter, or Follow me on GoodReads.

Author Bio~Timothy L. O’Brien

Timothy L. O’Brien is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post, where he edited the 2012 Pulitzer Prize–winning series about wounded war veterans, “Beyond the Battlefield.” Previously, he was an editor and reporter at The New York Times. There, he helped to lead a team of Times reporters that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2009 for coverage of the financial crisis. O’Brien, a graduate of Georgetown University, holds three master’s degrees — in US History,Business and Journalism — all from Columbia University. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.

Learn more about or contact Timothy L. O’Brien at:

Follow the book tour on Twitter at #LincolnConspiracyTour!


Filed under Book Reviews

7 responses to “Detective Novel Unravels Mystery Behind Lincoln’s Assassination in Grand Fashion

  1. Diana Wiley

    Sounds like an interesting book that I would read whether I win or not. Love historical mysteries.


  2. Looks like a fabulous read! I would love to win this 🙂


  3. Pingback: Exclusive Interview with Author Timothy L. O’Brien: The Lincoln Conspiracy | Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!

  4. I love any books regarding Presidents. I would love to win this and be able to read it!! 🙂


  5. Thank you to everyone for entering! The winner was drawn with and has been notified! 🙂


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