cover image The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy

The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy

Jacopo Della Quercia. St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-02571-5

Steampunk fans, as well as readers who enjoy their thrillers heavily dosed with humor, will revel in this rollercoaster ride. Early on, President William Howard Taft vanquishes four opponents in the ring, solidifying his reputation as the "single greatest underground boxing champion the world would never know of." Flush with victory, Taft ascends from the covert ring to Airship One, a dirigible that serves the president as a flying sanctuary. There, his top aide, Robert Todd Lincoln, reveals that he possesses an unusual watch that is "proof that there is something in Alaska completely alien to this planet." Furthermore, this watch was in the pocket of Lincoln's father the night he was assassinated in 1865. That revelation launches Taft and Lincoln on a wild adventure that involves a killer automaton, Teddy Roosevelt's ambitions for a third term, and a dangerous mission into the New Haven Tomb of the notorious Yale secret society, Skull & Bones. Della Quercia doesn't take the over-the-top plot too seriously, but this alternate universe's internal logic is cleverly constructed. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Aug.)