Civil War veteran Garrett Lyons works as a Pinkerton agent. But after his partner Sam Wilkerson was fatally ambushed in St. Louis, Garrett returns the body to Chicago and vows to find the killer. With a desire to continue investigating the situations involving counterfeit bonds that got Sam killed, Garrett quits the agency. General Stannard, Garrett’s former commanding officer, hands him a bundle of counterfeit money, and Garrett believes the two cases are connected. Along with a rising young architect named Louis Sullivan, with whom he plays poker, Garrett investigates. VERDICT: This debut is almost as much an architectural history as it is a mystery. The author details the construction of the first modern skyscrapers that transformed 1880s Chicago from a backwater crossroads into an urban giant. Garrett is a likeable sleuth, and the supporting characters are equally appealing and colorful; Louis Sullivan is charming, and Garrett’s romantic interest, Charlotte Reid, runs high-stakes poker games. Fans of Walter Satterthwait’s mysteries featuring Pinkerton agents Jane Turner and Phil Beaumont will enjoy this series launch.
November 1, 2014