If Words Could Kill: A First Ladies Mystery
Setting – Minnesota
Publisher: Darkhouse Books (September 24, 2016)
Print Length: 220 pages
Liv owns the First Lady White House Dollhouse store in Minneapolis, and has a doctorate in American history, specializing in the First Ladies. Liv is the last person to see a Mary Lincoln impersonator who is found dead right outside of her store. The impersonator presented clues as to where the fiery speech gave by former President Lincoln, the Lost Speech, may be located. As Liv investigates, she is trailed by someone who makes a habit of murdering people once a new clue is deciphered. The whereabouts of the only copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Lost Speech, a fiery speech on abolitionism delivered in 1856, propels Liv into beating the killer to the pricey speech. Who will locate it first?
I broke my rule and accepted the offer from the author to review this book without reading the first book in the series and this time that really hurt. It made it hard for me to get a grasp on these characters and things that happened in the previous book are mentioned frequently without enough of the backstory for me to sink my teeth into. I almost stopped reading this one to go back and read the first book but my reading schedule was just too full to do that.
Liv has a shop dedicated to First Lady White House Dollhouses, complete with the proper furnishings, rugs and even dishes. She is somehow related to Dolley Madison. This second book in the series has a Lincoln theme. An Mary Todd Lincoln impersonator comes to town to talk about clues she has uncovered regarding a lost Abraham Lincoln speech. Before she can give her presentation she is found dead outside Liv’s store. Liv gets right into the middle of the investigation assisting the police with clues she finds in the deceased belongings.
Liv’s family is all very supportive of her store and they help her out there often. She seems to get several customers for what to me is quite a specialty store. In this story she held an event where she sold many dollhouses in one day. That was good because she also picked up a couple of pricey Lincoln pieces online during the same time period.
The premise of the mystery is a good one, and maybe because I was trying so desperately to get a handle on all the characters I had an idea of whodunit quite early in the book. I will say I was surprised to find out I was actually right.
I have read a few books about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln but didn’t know anything about a lost speech. With a little internet search I learned that the speech was indeed lost but that is where the rest of this story becomes fiction. It seems his friend H.C. Whitney did take notes of the speech, which were later published. I enjoyed this author’s little twist on history and it brought the speech to my attention. I can tell the author did a great deal of research not only into the speech but Mrs. Lincoln and several other first ladies. Her character Liv is very knowledgeable about the first ladies and through her the author was able to share many little tidbits.
In this case I highly recommend reading The Blood Spangled Banner before reading this one. I am sure I would have enjoyed this one much more had I stuck to my rule and done just that.
About The Author
Barbara Schlichting was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where her First Ladies Mystery Series is set. Dolley Madison: The Blood Spangled Banner. Barbara graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1970. Later, she and her husband moved their family to Bemidji. She attended Bemidji State University where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education and special education.
Barbara also likes to write in other genres. Whispers From The Wind is her first poetry book which has poems for all ages.
Barbara has been known to travel too much, and read while not paying attention to her husband. However she has had an English penpal for over fifty years.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”