Daniel Stashower wears hats both as a narrative historian and as a novelist with remarkable distinction. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America: for Teller of Tales—his biography of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle—and for his editing of Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters with frequent collaborator Jon Lellenberg. Stashower’s work on Conan Doyle has also secured him the Anthony Award for Best Critical Work and two Agatha Awards for Best Nonfiction, from the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and Malice Domestic.
Stashower’s latest narrative history, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, draws on the author’s lifelong interest in crime history and crime fiction to tell the true story of an 1861 assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln—and the life of the man assigned to the case: America’s first “private eye” Allan Pinkerton.
Daniel Stashower’s previous nonfiction books include The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder and The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television. He is also the author of five mystery novels featuring Harry Houdini as a detective, Sherlock Holmes, and an original magician detective based on Stashower’s own performing experience. A recipient of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing, Stashower has served as a Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s Wadham College. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, AARP: The Magazine, National Geographic Traveller, and Smithsonian magazine.
Born in Cleveland, Stashower received a BA from Northwestern University and an MFA from Columbia University. He has been a contributing editor for Time-Life Books on series such as The Civil War and Mysteries of the Unknown, is a member of the Society of American Magicians, and has been a member of the Society of Psychical Research. He is also a member of the most famous Sherlockian society, the Baker Street Irregulars, whose invitation-only ranks have included Isaac Asimov and Neil Gaiman.
An inveterate performer, Stashower has given hundreds of talks including large-scale appearances at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, and college appearances at Harvard and Oxford. He has performed at the historic Players Club in New York City and for Mensa, the high IQ society, and once appeared on a panel at the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention as Houdini, attired in straitjacket. He lives with his wife in Bethesda, Maryland.
The Hour of Peril
The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
“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...
Teller of Tales
The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle
Winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Best Biographical Work, this is "an excellent biography of the man who created Sherlock Holmes" (David Walton, The New York...
“This account of the little-known Baltimore-based plot to assassinate Lincoln… hurtles across a landscape of conspirators, heroes and politicos in hotel suites, ladies’ parlors and railway depots…. We can be grateful that Old Abe survived the first attempt on his life. And now we have the chance to relish the story of the clever and determined characters who were dedicated to his safety.”
—New York Times Book Review
“The world's most famous private eye saves Abraham Lincoln's life—and perhaps the Union itself? Sounds like fiction, but in Daniel Stashower's riveting new book, it's all true. It's history that reads like a race-against-the-clock thriller.”
“Reads like a first-class detective novel . . . Pinkerton's tireless energy prevented a tragedy that might have destroyed the republic.”
—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom