Last year I went to Washington, DC for the first time as an adult, and I loved it. I’m not a huge fan of most cities, but I AM a huge fan of American history so I had a great time. When my mother-in-law loaned me this book, I was excited to read a mystery that took place in one of my favorite cities, written by the daughter of a president (actually I just read on Wikipedia that these were ghostwritten). What a disappointment this book was.
The central mystery in Murder at Ford’s Theatre is the murder of a young intern who’s beaten to death in the alley behind Ford’s Theatre. The story focuses on the two cops investigating the murder (one of whom is an Abe Lincoln buff), the director of Ford’s Theatre, and a washed-up actor.
I’ll start with what I liked, since it was very little: Since the murder happens in Ford’s Theatre, there’s a fair amount of Abe Lincoln trivia. I liked the info about his law career and the night he was assassinated. I also liked the book simply because it’s a mystery and I love mysteries. The two cops are both fairly interesting and likable characters.
What I didn’t like: everything else. This is another one of those mysteries where people constantly say each other’s name when talking. In one paragraph, somebody said somebody else’s name FOUR TIMES. In one paragraph! Am I so stupid that I can’t keep track of who is speaking and who they are talking to, that I need four reminders in a single paragraph? This is practically an epidemic in mystery writing. Why? Why do mystery authors do this so often? We need to nip this in the bud.
I also didn’t really like the story itself–fairly dry. I had guessed who the killer was pretty early in the book. But, I have a couple other books in this series that my mother-in-law loaned me and I do plan to read them–the pull of a mystery combined with a setting of Washington, DC is too much for me to resist, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.