Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Cosgrove Report
This is one of my all time favorite types of novels - a mystery, set in the past, with a modern frame. Love it!
The full title of this book is: The Cosgrove Report: Being the Private Inquiry of a Pinkerton Detective into the Death of President Lincoln. And that's the premise. The heart of the story is about a Pinkerton detective who has been hired by the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, to find John Wilkes Booth and disover why Lincoln was really murdered.
But it's not just that. It's also a story, within a story, within a story. Because it begins with a modern day (this was written in the 70's, so that's modern day) detective, Michael Croft, who has been hired by a judge post-mortem. The judge had promised his grandfather to have his manuscript published, but it was so incredulous, this investigation into Lincoln's death, that he didn't want to do it in his lifetime. So he's left funds for Croft to investigate whether or not this manuscript is true, and if so, to have it published.
G.J.A. O'Toole, the author, has crafted an intricate and beautiful story and I highly recommend it. If you enjoy it, I'd also recommend One Thousand White Women: The Journal of May Dodd by Jim Fergus, and The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney.