Sunday, June 22, 2014

A gripping history and a fine story told

Finding grave sites of American historical figures, prominent and obscure, are a part of what makes me tick. What happened to Admiral John Paul Jones after he died in Paris is a story that Scott Martelle reveals in his book, The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones. The man who searched for the body is Horace Porter, an American businessman and confidant of many political figures of the day who eventually becomes the U.S Ambassador to France during the Mckinley administration.

Martelle weaves a fascinating mystery the involves the Revolutionary War, Paris during their revolution and advances to the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and the McKinley assassination. All of which had minor and major roles in the burial, disappearance and eventual recovery of the bones of John Paul Jones.

The research is top notch and the story breezes along, like a good mystery should. There's a lot of depth to the main characters involved. You get a real feel for the life Porter had as an Ambassador and the lives diplomats led during that era. The story does not bore, but pulls you in. You know the body is going to be found but how, and when?

Really enjoyed the Hell out of this book. A fine read for history buffs and lovers of a good political mystery.

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