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Jonathan F. Putnam Books In Order

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Publication Order of A Lincoln and Speed Mystery Books

These Honored Dead (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Perish from the Earth (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Final Resting Place (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
A House Divided (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jonathan F. Putnam
Jonathan F. Putnam is an attorney and a novelist. His “Lincoln and Speed Mystery” series has been a #1 Amazon bestseller.

He’s also a nationally known trial lawyer. Jonathan was an equity partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the New York City office of the leading international law firm, a firm he was first associated in 1993. He specializes in representing individuals and companies in complex commercial litigation, often disputes that involve intellectual property like trademarks and patents. He’s been the lead trial counsel in more than a dozen trials, conducted all around the country in front of judges, juries, and professional arbitrators.

Jonathan’s work as a lawyer has often been recognized by national legal publications, including The American Lawyer magazine, which named him one of the top 50 trial lawyers nationwide under 45 years old. Jonathan’s also served in a number of leadership capacities at Kirkland & Ellis, which includes serving as the firm wide hiring partner.

He graduated in the year 1988 with honors with his degree in History and he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in the year 1992. At Harvard Law School, he was one of the editors of the Harvard Law Review and he received the Fay Diploma for graduating top of his class. After he graduated, he worked as a law clerk to a judge on the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC, before he joined Kirkland & Ellis.

Since he’s a trial lawyer and an amateur history buff, he wanted to pen a historical fiction about a famous trial lawyer. Lincoln was just one of a few possibilities that immediately came to mind. Jonathan also loved the book “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr. An interesting character in that book is a young Theodore Roosevelt, who was then Police Commissioner of New York City. So the idea of even writing about a young Lincoln, long before he became famous, appealed to him.

Then Lara, Jonathan’s sister and a real historian (Professor at the University of Pittsburgh), told him about Lincoln’s real life best friend, named Joshua Speed. He realized on the spot that Speed could be Watson to Lincoln’s Holmes.

Obviously from the moment of this epiphany to the publication of his first book was exactly ten years to the day. So there was a considerable amount of hard work, false starts and stops, until he finally made it all work.

He has given keynote addresses for book stores, civic groups, historical societies, schools, libraries, and lawyer groups all around the country. He’s been frequently featured in print and on TV. He was selected to narrate two episodes on the young Lincoln for the popular “10 American Presidents” podcast series.

Since the only cure known to mankind for not writing is writing. So for those (relatively rare) instances when he doesn’t feel like writing, he’ll force himself to sit down before his keyboard nevertheless. Eventually something useful is going to appear on the screen, even if it’s by accident.

He also runs a bunch. When he’s in need of a convincing motivation or the perfect word, he will go for a run. Typically, the answer is going to occur to him during the final moments of his run. When he gets back home, still dripping with sweat, he goes right to his desk to write it down before he can forget it. It is actually sorta gross, but there’s just no other way.

“These Honored Dead” is the first novel in the “Lincoln and Speed Mystery” series and was released in 2016. Joshua Speed, who is the enterprising second son of this wealthy plantation owner, has struck off on his own. However before too long, he makes a vital and surprising new acquaintance: a freshly minted lawyer that’s named Abraham Lincoln.

When one orphaned girl from this neighboring town is discovered murdered and suspicion lands on her aunt, Speed makes it his mission to clear her good name. Obviously, he will need the legal knowledge of his odd new friend. Together, Speed and Lincoln fight it out to bring justice to their small town. However while more bodies are found and this investigation begins coming apart at the seams, there is one question that’s on everybody’s minds: could Lincoln have what it takes to crack his first murder case?

Inspired by true events from the American frontier, this thrilling debut from Jonathan Putnam brings renewed vigor and verve to the historical mystery genre unseen by readers since “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr.

These characters are interesting and engaging, and the mystery was easy to follow even with all of the threads. The gripping trial of the novel is where the true spirit of this novel is. Readers are sure to be engrossed by Lincoln’s folksy humor and his dramatic speeches, and see exactly how frontier justice differs from modern day law. Propelled by bold actions and bold words by an amateur lawyer and merchant turned amateur sleuth, this story reaches its clever yet plausible resolution.

“Perish from the Earth” is the second novel in the “Lincoln and Speed Mystery” series and was released in 2017. Abraham Lincoln, a newly minted trial lawyer, is riding the circuit and traveling by carriage with a judge and other lawyers in order to bring justice to the more remote parts of Illinois. Meanwhile, Lincoln’s close buddy Joshua Speed, steams up the Mississippi River aboard this steamboat that’s owned by Speed’s dad when all of a sudden, the journey gets interrupted when this rigged card game on the ship gets violent, and there’s a murder.

When one young traveling artist gets accused of this crime, Speed enlists Lincoln to defend the guy. Together, Speed and Lincoln work on finding evidence of the artist’s innocence. However they soon come to learn that there was more than just the card games being crooked on his family’s ship. While the day of judgment hurtles toward them, Speed and Lincoln have to fight to save not just the life of Lincoln’s client but also the merit of Speed’s good name.

Deftly plotted and meticulously researched, this is the superlative follow up the “These Honored Dead”.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jonathan F. Putnam

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