Joel Fox is the Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee. He also is a regular contributor to

If you like mystery and suspense, I think you’ll enjoy Lincoln’s Hand.
Take a break from California politics and business when you read Lincoln’s Hand.  There is not a word about California politics in it.

Echelon Press published my first mystery/suspense novel. This column is a shameless self-promotion. While the “official” launch is this Saturday, Aug. 7 with a book signing at the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles, the book is now available in paperback and e-book formats, which you can link to from the book’s website

A reader who purchased a copy at a pre-kick-off event at a Chicago book fair wrote to me last week: “I’ve finally got around to starting and finishing your book in one day. We did not have dinner; I did not take a nice walk or work my garden or do my laundry. I just read your book from cover to cover. What a pleasure.”

As the back cover describes the tale:

Unable to close his previous case against the Monument Bomber, Senior FBI Special Agent Zane Rigby has been re-assigned to uncover a secret. Is Abraham Lincoln’s body in his grave?

When DNA from a hand found with a blackmail note traced back to 1901 matches the DNA from bone taken at Lincoln’s autopsy, Rigby is shuffled off to Springfield, Illinois where all manner of obstacles threaten his success. He discovers a local congressman hiding a dreaded secret, a strange doctor who claims he can perform medical miracles, and his own ill-timed urge to rekindle a relationship with his college sweetheart.

And then there is the dead body of a young woman found near Lincoln’s Tomb.

As the Monument Bomber threatens to strike again, Rigby searches for redemption in solving the murder and discovering the secret buried in Lincoln’s Tomb.

The catalyst of my mystery story was the real life historical event of an attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body. The grave robbing effort in 1876 reverberates in this modern-day tale. I have been aware of the Lincoln grave robbing for decades. I’m not sure how I first learned about it, however, I remember an old movie that dealt with the grave-robbing attempt.

The movie was called The Abductors.  It starred Victor McLaglen, who won the Best Actor Oscar in 1935 for a John Ford directed film, The Informer. The Abductors came at the end of McLaglen’s career, in 1957.

I can’t say it’s a great movie and it was quickly lost to the memory of the movie world. But, the film captured my imagination and I never forgot the outrageous, devilish, irreverent plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body. It seemed a natural story to build a mystery around, especially when I learned years later what happened to Lincoln’s coffin over time – all an integral part of the book.

The coffin was moved many times after the grave robbing attempt and even opened twice to affirm that Lincoln was in his coffin.

I have already picked up some nice comments from award winning and bestselling mystery writers.

Robert S. Levinson, bestselling author of “The Traitor in Us All” wrote:  “Give author Joel Fox a great big hand for turning out a nifty read.”

Award winning writer Kelli Stanley, author of “City of Dragons” said Lincoln’s Hand was “a gripping, suspenseful thriller.”

From Mark Coggins, award-winning author of The Big Wake Up: Lincoln’s Hand is “a creative blend of 19th century skullduggery and contemporary intrigue. Check it out! ”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who knows something about dramatic stories from his successful movie making days, called Lincoln’s Hand “a page turner from start to finish.”

Take a look at the website and find out how to order through Amazon and other venues.

Write me at and let me know what you think or if you want to arrange to receive an autographed copy.