Burt Solomon -- author | journalist

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt

Capitol Building
Photo credit: National Park Service

Solomon has "a gift for mining fascinating nuggets from my city's past." -- George F. Will

"Solomon fondly recreates the Washington, D.C., of that era--a raw, half-finished city with a burgeoning government bureaucracy at the center and rough neighborhoods with names like Swampoodle on the margins." -- Newsday

"a splendid tale" -- New York Journal of Books

"a thoroughly delightful read ... Anyone with any kind of interest in the period and the characters will be glad to immerse themselves in the narrative, and the more casual mystery reader will appreciate the overall sense of suspense and gratification at the resolution."
-- Bookreporter.com

"Solomon incorporates many historically accurate events, details, and characters into this engaging story, based on an actual incident. Historical mystery fans who relish rich period details will be eager to see Hay again."
-- Library Journal

“Historian Solomon’s meticulous details and the real-life figures woven into the narrative make it both informative and entertaining.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“Best of all, Hay is a fallible, engaging character with interests in boxing and poetry as well as sleuthing, and his narration brings to life a time and place as it unravels a crime.” -- Booklist

"An inherently riveting historical mystery by an author who is a master of the genre, The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt showcases novelist Burt Solomon's genuine flair for originality and a thoroughly reader-engaging narrative storytelling style."
-- Midwest Book Review

"Solomon skillfully blends historical fact with plausible fiction."--Buffalo News

 © Burt Solomon | Contact

It’s September 3, 1902, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Theodore Roosevelt has been president for almost a year, and he is finishing up a campaign tour of New England. He is heading for the neighboring town of Lenox when an electric trolley comes hurtling down a hillside and broadsides his horse-drawn carriage. Roosevelt, thrown 30 or 40 feet, is injured more seriously than it seems at the time. His Secret Service man is killed under the trolley’s wheels. The motorman is charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 60 days in jail.

An accident, the history books say. In my tale, an attempted assassination. 

TR is an extraordinary man, bursting with talents, his virtues—and his flaws—larger than life. In less than a year as president, his provocative actions have left a trail of political enemies, ranging from anarchists to the industrial trusts. There is no shortage of suspects who want him gone.  Roosevelt asks John Hay, his secretary of state and old chum, to investigate. Hay is a poet and a boxer and a likeable companion who is battling personal demons of his own. His investigation crosses paths with celebrities of the age—Emma Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Henry Adams, Mark Hanna, Nellie Bly.

Readers will become immersed in a tumultuous era of American history—technology was vaulting ahead, the U.S. was becoming a world power—that will still feel familiar today. This novel offers history that goes down easy and is entertaining—and suspenseful—along the way.

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt is available starting December 3, 2019, at bookstores everywhere and at online retailers—Amazon.com or through Macmillan Publishers.

Check out my essays for Strand Magazine and CrimeReads.com on the uses of historical research in crafting a mystery: