Skip to main content
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. Books

Sheinkin's 'Lincoln's Grave Robbers' thrills readers with its true crime story.

See also

National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin is an obsessive story detective who travels the country in search of amazing true tales. How fitting then, for today on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, that we should talk about his latest book, “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers.”

On October 20, 1875, Secret Service agents raid the Illinois workshop of master counterfeiter Benjamin Boyd and arrest him. Soon after Boyd is hauled after to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather and devise a plan to get Boyd back: steal Lincoln’s body from its tomb, stash it in a secret location, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Boyd – and $200,000 in cash.

The action in this true crime thriller alternates among the conspirators who commit the crime, the Secret Service agents who are hot on their trail, and the undercover double agent who is moving back and forth between the two groups.

Readers are compelled to keep reading this gripping tale, while getting a glimpse into the inner workings of counterfeiting, grave robbing, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Service. The plot itself moves toward a hair-raising climax as the robbers and law enforcers converge at Lincoln’s tomb on election night in 1876.

Peppered throughout this book are sketches, black-and-white photographs, and floor plans of the Lincoln Monument, bringing the story and its characters to life. The cast of characters listed at the start of the book helps readers to sort the who’s who of this real life thriller. The glossary of phrases at the back of the book will make all readers hip to the lingo of the time. For example, maybe a ‘bone orchard’ sounds obvious for graveyard, but did you know that a ‘shover’ is a criminal who passes counterfeit money in stores and banks? Or that a ‘coney’ is counterfeit currency?

With the help Sheinkin and his story of “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers,” you’ll be a bona fide history expert on Lincoln, his grave robbers, and the lingo of the period in no time.


Arts & Entertainment

  • Ted Nugent
    Ted Nugent concert at Native American casino canceled because of obvious reasons
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
    The first 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trailer has been released, leaving fans wanting more
    Movies Buzz
  • Music festivals
    150 years of major American music festivals are rooted in Rhode Island
    17 Photos
  • Billy Corgan
    Billy Corgan receives Vanguard Awards at AMPAs in Cleveland
    13 Photos
  • Celebrity tattoos
    We're not sure what some of these celebrities were thinking when they decided to get inked
    23 Photos
  • John Stamos
    John Stamos talks about love, life and being tired of Uncle Jesse
    Today's Buzz