Newly minted trial lawyer Abraham Lincoln is riding the circuit, traveling by carriage with other lawyers and a judge to bring justice to the remote parts of Illinois. Meanwhile, Lincoln’s close friend Joshua Speed steams up the Mississippi River aboard a steamboat owned by Speed’s father when suddenly, his journey is interrupted when a rigged card game aboard the ship turns to violence–and then murder.
When a young traveling artist is accused of the crime, Speed enlists Lincoln to defend him. Together, Lincoln and Speed work to find evidence of the artist’s innocence. But soon they come to discover that more than just the card games are crooked aboard the Speed family’s ship. As the day of judgment hurtles towards them, Lincoln and Speed must fight to save not only the life of Lincoln’s client but also the merit of Speed’s good name.
Meticulously research and deftly plotted, Jonathan F. Putnam’s second Lincoln and Speed mystery, Perish from the Earth is the superlative follow-up to These Honored Dead, praised by Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin as “Splendid…one of the most enjoyable works of fiction I have read in a long time.”
Jonathan F. Putnam is a writer and attorney. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is a nationally renowned trial lawyer and avid amateur Lincoln scholar. He currently lives with his family in London, England. This is his second Lincoln and Speed mystery following These Honored Dead.
Praise for the first Lincoln and Speed Mystery, These Honored Dead:
“This book is a time machine, and the mystery at its core is equally elegant and brutal. Just like our history. But, man, is it fun to root for Abraham Lincoln.” – Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The President’s Shadow
“What a splendid debut novel! Jonathan Putnam combines an historian’s understanding of character and context with a remarkable narrative drive that kept me fascinated from start to finish as I tried to figure out how the mystery would unfold. I read history during the days and mysteries every night before going to sleep, so for me, These Honored Dead was one of the most enjoyable works of fiction I have read in a long time.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Team of Rivals
“These Honored Dead feels so completely authentic that it might very well be a recovered journal from the nineteenth century, peopled with true-life investigators named Lincoln and Speed. But the pacing is so assured, and the mystery is so intriguing that it can’t be anything but a masterfully crafted modern novel. Jonathan Putnam has crafted the most gripping debut in years, and I can’t wait to read his next book.” – Alex Grecian, national bestselling author of the Scotland Yard Murder Squad series
“Young Mr. Lincoln makes a crackerjack detective. He and the narrator, Speed, are a fine Holmes and Watson. Putnam’s book is historical mystery at its best.” – Will Thomas, Barry and Shamus Award-nominated author of Anatomy of Evil
“Anatomy of a Murder, frontier-style; Lincoln lives again in this sharp and engaging period mystery. Great characters, solid research, and effective twists.” – Stephen Gallagher, critically-acclaimed author of The Kingdom of Bones and The Bedlam Detective
“Putnam’s well-researched first novel…does a fine job presenting a recognizable young Abraham Lincoln.” – Publishers Weekly starred review
“[A] well-researched debut mystery… Eye-opening historical details on hunting runaway slaves and 19th-century poorhouses will interest readers who enjoy works by Caleb Carr and E.L. Doctorow.” – Library Journal
“Putnam combines the historical fact of a lifelong friendship with lively fiction in a debut set on the edge of the American frontier.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Lawyer Putnam bases his debut novel on a solid historical foundation…in the first of what looks to be a winning historical-mystery series.” – Booklist