by Katherine Pond (POST MILLS): Meltzer and Mensch do it again– they have produced an interesting, exciting and thoroughly researched report on a significant period in American history. Their writing and the use of short chapters made covering almost 400 pages of intrigue and chaos almost easy.

Imagine, if you will, Lincoln’s assassination in Baltimore Md on his way to his first inauguration. Traveling from Springfield, Ill to Washington DC on a carefully planned route that covers the border States into the Northeast and then South through Maryland, rife with Southern sympathizers AFTER South Carolina has seceded, a plot to kill him becomes known to Allan Pinkerton and his agents.

Now, somehow, Lincoln must get through Baltimore safely but he has speaking obligations and ceremonies he is unwilling to vacate. How the development of the plot occurs, the investigation steps taken that reveals it and the tactics taken to avert it keeps the reader rapt until the moment of the inaugural speech. But, the authors don’t stop there, though reader and they take a breath, before finishing up with the aftermath that leads to the actual assassination in Ford’s theatre almost 4 1/2 years later.