Join us for a discussion with J. Lawrence Matthews, author of the novel One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes, a story that imagines a young Sherlock Holmes in post-Civil War America.
“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!” When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England grabs Tad Lincoln, the 12-year-old son of the dying President, races the boy to safety and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.
One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of a young man’s journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln—and his breathtaking pursuit of John Wilkes Booth in the company of a freed slave named for the slain President. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and, as readers will discover, it will haunt him until his very last. Written at a time when American history is being scrutinized and recast in the light of 21st Century standards, this fast-paced account of young Sherlock Holmes’s visit to America during the final year of the Civil War illuminates the profound impact of Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation on slavery, the war and America itself.
J. Lawrence Matthews has contributed fiction to the New York Times and NPR and is the author of three non-fiction books as Jeff Matthews, including Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha. Matthews is now researching the sequel to Bees, which takes place a bit further afield—in Florence, Mecca and Tibet—but readers may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in the history behind One Must Tell the Bees will find it here. He and his wife Nancy raised two daughters in Fairfield, CT and now reside in Naples, FL.
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