The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln

Marissa Moss, illus. by Jeremy Holmes. Abrams, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3064-1
Moss (Kate Warne, Pinkerton Detective) revisits the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, deftly folding the story of a thwarted assassination attempt on then-president-elect Abraham Lincoln into the larger tale of the famous agency’s beginnings. Born in 1819, Allan Pinkerton, a poor Scottish immigrant to America, goes from barrel maker to Chicago police detective to the owner of the most successful detective agency in the U.S. by the 1850s. When secessionists conspire to shoot Lincoln during his train trip to his inauguration, Pinkerton and his agents foil the plot. Holmes (Secrets of the Dragon Tomb) employs a digital scratchboard technique for a woodcut look; the detailed illustrations invite detectivelike inspection, while the limited color palette and multi-paneled spreads evoke a graphic novel style. Bearded Pinkerton is depicted with orange glasses that cast a spotlight on whatever he eyes. With a narrative that moves along effortlessly, this history of the company whose eyeball logo inspired the term “private eye” will keep aspiring sleuths hooked with its intrigue. Ages 6–9. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 11/06/2018
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