Murder in the Oval Library by C.M. Gleason is the second book in the Lincoln’s White House Mystery series. As Lincoln waits for the Confederate Army to begin its attack on Washington DC, about a hundred men, the Frontier Guard, are in the White House awaiting for the attack. One of these men is found dead in the Oval Library. Is there a murderer among them? President Lincoln, knowing he can trust Adam Quinn, asks him to catch the killer.
Adam once again uses his friends, Sophie, Dr. Hilton, and Miss Lemagne to help him. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters better in this second book. We learn more about their pasts and come to understand them better.
By far my favorite aspect of the book were the historical elements. Author Gleason does a great job of describing events while still caring a story forward. I learned so much about the beginnings of the Civil War from this book. There were so many things I did not know and I was constantly doing further research to see if it was fact or fiction. Gleason describes these events in a way that I could easily picture Washington during this crucial time in our history. Washington then is not the Washington we see when we go there now and Gleason did a great job in placing me in the correct Washington. We are also shown this time period from the perspective of not only North and South, but race, and class.
Murder in the Oval Library is a quick, engaging murder mystery. Though the setting of the beginning of the Civil War could be heavy, the story provides lots of information without weighing down or getting lost in a murder mystery.
Murder in the Oval Library is the second in a series, and I do think it would be beneficial to read Murder in the Lincoln White House first, though it isn’t necessary. I love to get to know characters really well and so reading the first book gives more of that information, but it wasn’t necessary to the storyline.
My copy of Murder in the Oval Library was provided by Kensington Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
There are many great books centered around the Civil War. As I read this book I realized that most of those books have taken place in the South. Have you read any great Civil War books that take place in the North?