Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Hour of Peril

The Hour of Peril

The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War

Daniel Stashower; Read by Edoardo Ballerini

Macmillan Audio


Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner

Digital Audio


Macmillan Audio

Macmillan Audio


ISBN: 9781427229243


Apple iTunes

"It's history that reads like a race-against-the-clock thriller." Harlan Coben

Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar award–winning author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, uncovers the riveting true story of the "Baltimore Plot," an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War.

In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a "clear and fully-matured" threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America's first female private eye.

As Lincoln's train rolled inexorably toward "the seat of danger," Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln's life—and the future of the nation—on a "perilous feint" that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy—and, later, mired in controversy—the story of the "Baltimore Plot" is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and with The Hour of Peril Stashower has crafted a spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2013

Winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime

Audie Award Finalist, Macavity Award - Winner, Anthony Awards - Winner, Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Anthony Awards - Nominee, Agatha Awards - Winner, Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee, Agatha Awards - Nominee, Washington Post Best Books of the Year


Praise for The Hour of Peril

“Lively writing and lively reading make The Hour of Peril worth hearing…Narrator Edoardo Ballerini's performance fits well with the author's thriller-style approach to the story. Ballerini does an excellent job of using inflection to differentiate between Stashower's writing and quotes from other documents, such as books and newspapers.” —Audiofile Magazine

“Nicely read by Edoardo Ballerini, both story and voice steadily build to a suspenseful denouement.” —The Star-Ledger

“[Ballerini] keeps a light foot on the pedal, skillfully maintaining a quick pace and a sustainable level of suspense…This historical account surprises at every turn, and Ballerini's fine reading maintains listener interest in a well-researched book.” —Booklist

In the Press

In “The Hour of Peril,” Daniel Stashower chronicles Pinkerton’s efforts to prevent a tragedy. - The Washington Post

John Wilkes Booth succeeded in 1865, but the first major plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln unfolded in 1861 in anticipation of the then president-elect's railway trip to Washington, D.C., for his in - Publishers Weekly

About the author

Daniel Stashower; Read by Edoardo Ballerini

DANIEL STASHOWER is an acclaimed biographer and narrative historian and winner of the Edgar, Agatha, and Anthony awards, and the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, AARP: The Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler as well as other publications.

Daniel Stashower

Daniel Stashower

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Edoardo Ballerini

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