John Brown's Body: An Alphonso Clay Mystery of the Civil War
Publication date: May 2011
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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An act of treason, a mysterious murder-and Grant's campaign in the West is finished unless the mystery can be solved. The Mississippi Valley, 1863. - The Confederate fortress town of Vicksburg is the lynch-pin holding together the eastern and western Confederacy. Major General Ulysses S. Grant is tasked by Washington to capture Vicksburg, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi, splitting the Confederacy and dooming it to ultimate extinction. However, there is treason in Grant's army-treason at the highest levels. His most secret plans are being leaked to the Confederacy; plans known only to a small group of high-ranking staff. But a security officer named John Brown has discovered something-something he will not entrust to any of Grant's officers. Instead, he frantically telegraphs for a pre-war friend, Captain Alphonso Clay, to come out West immediately; then Brown locks himself into a riverboat cabin, refusing to see anyone. Clay, a Union-loyal Kentuckian from a wealthy slave-owning family, responds to the call. He arrives at Grant's headquarters to find Brown has been murdered. Accompanying Grant's army on its march, racing the calendar, Clay frantically tries to discover the truth, knowing that if he does not solve the crime, Grants campaign will be at an end and the United States will cease to be. Jack Martin is a life-long Californian; he never set foot outside the Golden State until his 30th year, but has traveled extensively - in his imagination. Trained in the prosaic fields of economics and law, and earning his living in the corporate bowels of an enormous aerospace company, in his spare time he stretched his mind by studying the wonders of astronomy on the one hand, and the glories of American history on the other. Sonia, his wife of twenty-seven years, was possessed of a brilliant practical business mind; yet she greatly enjoyed Jack's stories of the American past, and encouraged him to write them professionally. She especially enjoyed his speculation about a ""secret history of the United States:"" incidents and turning points so vital to our future yet so potentially terrible that knowledge of them was withheld from the American public. With her prodding, he has created a series of novels involving the character of Alphonso Brutus Clay: a Civil War Union officer who will find himself deeply involved in several such incidents that will never find their way into the history books. Sonia passed away on Christmas Eve 2009 after a brave four-year fight against ovarian cancer, and therefore did not live to see the first of the books that she inspired. However, Jack is convinced that somewhere, she knows.