*Lincoln’s Grave Robbers* by Steve Sheinkin. Scholastic, 2012.
Very few people have heard about this historical event; but you will be mesmerized by this telling. In 1876, a group of Midwestern counterfeiters decided to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body from its tomb in Springfield, Illinois. The plan was to hold the late President’s body for ransom, including the release from prison of the gang’s super engraver. The theft was to take place on election night, November 1876 – the infamous Hayes-Tilden election. The crooks weren’t successful; but the attempt and the ensuing chase are very exciting. Along the way, we learn about the beginnings of the Secret Service, which was founded to deal with counterfeiters, and the history of Midwestern counterfeiters and grave robbers, and the story of the dedicated guard of Lincoln’s tomb who worked hard to protect the remains.
The best non-fiction history writers have the ability to pull you into a true story just as effectively as a top novelist. Sheinkin, the award-winning author of *Bomb* and other books, is one of the best there is and this is as good as any thriller.
Sheinkin's books are always entertaining and this one deserves more circulation as it chronicles the early history of the Secret Service.
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