Renaissance man and adventurer Chase Baker rarely visits home in upstate NY. But when his late dad's resting place is about to be dis-interred to make way for a new road, he volunteers to operate the backhoe. It's the least he can do for a father who was always there to help Chase, the young man. But what he doesn't expect is a job offer by the local Albany Police Department to look into a missing elderly couple. Maybe Chase wants nothing more than to get back to New York City to work on his latest novel, but when the detective in charge happens to mention the couple lived in the same house as Clara Harris and Union Major Henry Rathbone, the young couple who accompanied President Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential Box on the night of his assassination back in 1865, he puts his plans on hold. What makes the job impossible to ignore (aside from the badly needed payday) is that Clara Harris's dress which is rumored to be soaked with Lincoln's blood, is also said to be stored inside a secret vault somewhere in the house. While Chase decides to take on the job of looking for the old couple, he can't help but put his treasure hunting tools to work in searching for the dress first. Standing in his way, however, is not only an egocentric and murderous Civil War reenactment historian who believes he is the reincarnation of John Wilkes Booth, but more importantly, the dress itself. A dress that bears the blood of the Lincoln Curse. Filled with suspense, real history and alternative history, cliffhangers, action, and paranormal dream-like events, the newest novella-length episode in the best-selling, award-winning Chase Baker "pulp fiction" series is sure to thrill.
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"...The final casualty."
A slightly unusual book in the Chase Baker library of adventures as this time it is very close to home - investigating the truth behind the story of the Lincoln curse whilst looking into the disappearance of an elderly couple who, for many years, had lived in the house formerly owned by the Rathbones. Before their marriage, Clara and husband to be Henry Rathbone were sharing the box with Mary and President Lincoln on the fateful night that he was shot and killed. Despite a valiant attempt, Henry was unable to stop the perpetrator, instead being badly injured himself. His blood, and that of the President, badly stained the white dress his fiance was wearing. No one knew what became of the dress which was said to be cursed, but it was assumed to have been burned by the Rathbone's son after the death of both of his parents.
This book, mixing fact and urban myth into a fictional story, is fascinating. It also has the trademark twists and turns associated with the quick witted Baker and takes another peek at the sometimes insanity of obsession. As always, Andrew B.Wehrien captures the spirit of Chase Baker beautifully in his reading of Chase's first person reminiscences as he delves into the problem not only of what has happened to the missing couple but also the story of the curse itself.
A short, but satisfying adventure listen. My thanks to the rights holder who gifted me this book, via Audiobook Boom.
- Norma Miles