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Nearly three months into the launch of my debut novel I’ve been blown away by the experience.  I’ve had an amazing time touring around the country and seeing many of you at bookstores, libraries, and industry conferences.  I’ve included a few pictures from my book events below. 

I’ve also been thrilled with the critical reception for These Honored Dead.  Some of my favorite reviews have come from the Historical Novels Society, Library Journal and the popular Auntie M. Writes blog. One of my favorite author profiles appeared in Above The Law.  And I’ve posted some videos and additional content from the launch to the Blog section of my website

If you’ve read the book already, thank you!  I’ve realized in the past three months there is no substitute for positive word-of-mouth.  So I want to ask for your help in continuing to build my audience, one reader at a time.  If you read the book and liked it, please consider:

  • Tell a friend, neighbor or relative about it.
  • Post a review on reader review sites like and Goodreads. The more reviews the book gets, the more the all-powerful Algorithm helps me spread the word.
  • Give the book as a Christmas or Hanukkah present.  I’ve arranged for the fantastic Mysterious Bookshop in New York City to have a quantity of autographed copies of the book.  They’ll gladly ship anywhere.  You can order those books here. Or buy the book at your favorite local store or online retailer.
  • Share that you liked it on Facebook or another social media forum.

I know that many of you have done some or all of these things already.  I am truly grateful.

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If you think this election season has been bad …

… you should have been in Springfield, IL, for the election of 1838.  The political year opened with an acrimonious dispute between rival candidates for a plum patronage job as Registrar of the federal land office.  (The Registrar was entitled to a percentage of every sale of federal land, which was a huge part of the economic activity in western states like Illinois at the time.)  Culminating a long-running quarrel, the losing candidate confronted the winner at the Spottswood Hotel in Springfield, whereupon the winner took out a pistol and shot him dead.  All this played out in front of an audience of Springfield’s elite.  Indeed, the prosecutor had to recuse himself from the case because he was a witness to the murder.  Lincoln later defended the murderer; he was acquitted based on self-defense.

Meanwhile, Lincoln’s law partner John Stuart was engaged in a bitter campaign for Congress against Stephen Douglas – yes, that Stephen Douglas, the same man whose famous debates against Lincoln two decades later set an elevated standard that this year’s presidential debates failed to meet, to put it charitably.  At an early joint campaign appearance in the grocery story of William Herndon, one of Lincoln and Speed’s roommates, the candidates “both fought ‘til exhausted, the grocery store slippery with slop.”

Then, in a formal debate at the Springfield market house in late July, Stuart responded to a choice insult from Douglas “by deed rather than word, expressing contempt by picking up the little giant [Douglas was famously diminutive] and carrying him all the way around the market house before setting him down again, a feat that surely delighted a western audience.”  Douglas responded with a typical western fighting move: he bit Stuart’s thumb.   Hard.  Stuart’s thumb got infected and he missed the next debate, with Lincoln standing in for him. 

On election day, it was widely reported that Douglas had been elected.  But then additional votes for Stuart kept trickling in from unlikely sources, and in the final official tally Stuart prevailed by 36 votes out of nearly 37,000 cast.  Douglas protested, but to no avail.  I believe he might have even claimed the election was rigged.... 

Photos from the book tour

Clockwise from lower left:  Debut authors panel at the New York Society Library; TV appearance on Fox-32 Chicago; panel discussion at Bouchercon world mystery convention, New Orleans; interview at the Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA; interview at 57th Street Books, Chicago.

Upcoming Events

My next appearance is at Aunt Agatha’s bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI on November 20. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.

Copyright © 2016 Jonathan F. Putnam, All rights reserved.

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