Joshua Speed, the enterprising second son of a wealthy plantation owner, has struck off on his own. But before long, he makes a surprising and crucial new acquaintance–a freshly minted lawyer by the name of Abraham Lincoln.
When an orphaned girl from a neighboring town is found murdered and suspicion falls on her aunt, Speed makes it his mission to clear her good name. Of course, he’ll need the legal expertise of his unusual new friend. Together, Lincoln and Speed fight to bring justice to their small town. But as more bodies are discovered and the investigation starts to come apart at the seams, there’s one question on everyone’s lips: does Lincoln have what it takes to crack his first murder case?
Inspired by actual events from the American frontier, Jonathan Putnam’s thrilling debut These Honored Dead brings renewed verve and vigor to the historical mystery genre that readers haven’t seen since Caleb Carr’s The Alienist.
Jonathan Putnam is a nationally renowned trial lawyer and avid amateur Lincoln scholar. He has a degree in history from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School, from which he graduated first in his class. For many years he was a trial lawyer and partner at one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country. The American Lawyer magazine profiled him as one of the top young trial lawyers in America. He currently lives in London, England. This is his first novel.
“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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The President’s Shadow
“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