September 18, 2014
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers
by Steve Sheinkin
I tend to read before swim meets and when I’m waiting to pick swimmers up from practice. Moms and dads and siblings and I all discuss our books. The funny thing is that everyone saw this cover, read this title and assumed I had to be reading fiction.
Nope. A group of counterfeiters set out to steal Lincoln’s remains on Election night, 1876.
Why? Another counterfeiter, probably the king of them all, had been caught and jailed. Without his work engraving plates, the supply of quality counterfeit was dwindling. Quality goods are necessary so that you don’t get caught. If they didn’t get more of his work soon, they’d all have to find other work. They planned to steal and hide Lincoln’s remains. The brains of the outfit would then “find” the body and return it to the feds. I’m not certain why he tought that this wouldn’t scream “ransom demand” but that was their plan.
And stealing the body shouldn’t have been all that hard. Two doors stood between Lincoln’s sarcophagus and the public. Anyone who could cut through a padlock could gain entrance.
I’m not going to tell you anything more about the story because this is a true crime story and half of the beauty of this type of story well told is the suspense.
For those of you who know Sheinkin’s work, you know that this is going to be one of those stories that is just too crazy to be true . . . but it is. Everything in the book from the setting to the characters to the story to the dialogue has been researched by Sheinkin. The trick in this type of book is puzzling out what really happened. Who is telling the truth and who is making things up?
For the middle grade reader who doesn’t want to read a story that is made up, the fan of true crime and detective stories.