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The Shut Mouth Society [Kindle Edition]

James D. Best
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $9.96 (62%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 83%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


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Paperback $15.95  
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Book Description

When a rich Santa Barbara collector acquires a newly discovered Abraham Lincoln document, he asks detective Greg Evarts and UCLA professor Patricia Baldwin to authenticate it. Their research launches them into a dangerous struggle with a secret society formed during Reconstruction. Before they can solve the mystery surrounding the Lincoln manuscript, a shocking murder forces them to run for their lives.
As they race across the country, they discover a Civil War secret that could upset the balance of power in North America. Now Evarts and Baldwin must unravel the 150-year-old conspiracy before it’s too late … and before they are silenced for good.

Editorial Reviews


"The Shut Mouth Society is a potboiler of the first order." What Would the Founders Think?
I first picked out this book, I expected it to be historical fiction and maybe a little dry. What it is, instead, is a thriller/detective story centered around preinaugural papers of President Abraham Lincoln. The author has done an excellent job of building the story. --Book Advice
The Shut Mouth Society is a fast-moving, well-written novel that is of particular interest in this bicentennial year of Abe Lincoln's birth.-- Huntington News

The Shut Mouth Society by James D. Best is the kind of book I like best. The novel has everything from intrigue and murder to romance.--A Writer's Journal, Faith Friese Nelson
"It was a book I would  enjoy reading again." --Enough With It

From the Inside Flap

In early 1860, Abraham Lincoln was a little known regional politician from Springfield, Illinois. The Republican Party was new, and had failed running national hero John C. Frémont for president in 1856. Abraham Lincoln chances of ascending to the presidency under the Republican banner were slight. All that changed in New York City on February 27, 1860. That afternoon, Lincoln had his photograph taken by Mathew Brady, and in the evening, he gave a historic speech at the Cooper Union. Lincoln often said that Brady's photograph and his Cooper Union address propelled him to the presidency.

Product Details

  • File Size: 831 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1604940123
  • Publisher: Queen Beach; 1 edition (December 13, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AYT70E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,395 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Suspenseful Adventure July 17, 2008
This captivating novel moves with dizzying speed. The plot twists so fast that you don't want to put it down because you know there is going to be another surprise on the next page. The combination of an unpredictable plot, intriguing characters, and fascinating American history made this book hard to put down. I was very disappointed to finish it because I wanted more. Hey! How long are you going to keep us waiting for Leadville?
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three and a Half January 22, 2009
First the good parts of this book. The insight and analyses on Lincoln were very good. Any history or Lincoln buff would enjoy and appreciate them. The main characters - a cop and a beauteous history professor were also very good. Those elements were in the five star range.

Now, for the part that brings it to a 3.5. The plot surrounds two ultra-secret societies that have existed since the Civil War and have continued in families through generations. One is good, of course, and the other is evil. The main characters, unbeknownst to both, are descendants in the good secret society and were brought together by the society. When things begin to extra dicey, it turns out that the cop was in some super intelligence branch of the military and he can pick up the phone and engage his entire band of brothers (who he has not seen nor spoken to in years) in a matter of hours.

The plot is contrived to say the least and must be so to accomodate the secret society conspiracies.

The action does get fast-paced at times and if you suspend belief in reality, the mystery is pretty good. However, the contrived plot is incongruous with the good and serious history portions. One would expect more reality when historical perspective and analysis is so well done.

In sum, this is a fair mystery with some good history thrown into the mix.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This shouldn't be a secret! August 24, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's all about secret societies but this book shouldn't be kept a secret. The fast-paced story is full of action, riddled with twists and turns, develops characters you like a lot, weaves in some interesting U.S. history and is VERY hard to put down. My only complaint was that it was over too soon. So read it - it's good!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had so much potential August 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Evans and Baldwin are in a fight and race for their lives. It seems that there are hidden messages in some of Lincoln's speeches that were only meant for a secret society, The Shut Mouth Society. The Shut Mouth Society will go to great lengths to keep their society and secrets a secret. If Baldwin want to learn the real meaning of her parents death, she'll have to expose the secrets. That could be a big blow to US History. The problem is that The Shut Mouth Society is ready to kill anyone who stands in their way. That's all I really want to say about the plot, anything more would be a spoiler.

This book has to much potential, but it falls flat. This falls short on so many levels. First, the characters are flat. They also fall in love way, way to fast. Most of all, they're boring. They only have moments of enlightenment when it suits them, then they go back to being boring again.

Another problem I had is that it's way to long. There are so many pointless and wasted scenes. They were in the book only to make it longer. Does it really take 5 or 6 pages to say that someone went into a bank? Just a lot of wasted, useless, and pointless scenes. There's really not any twist and turns to keep the reader hooked. I kept on saying, "This has to get better" and it never does.

The book needs an editor. There are hyphen marks in the middle of words for no reason. We're treated to "doc-uments" "mon-ey" and things like that. It was a distraction and there's no excuse for that. It's just someone not doing their job.

I won't' even suggest this as a book you can get from the library. It has the feel of the "DaVinci Code", never comes close to it.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too bad it wasn't shorter March 14, 2012
I kept reading this because I thought it had to get better. It didn't. A totally unbelievable and underwhelming conspiracy theory book. People are murdered right and left and it's all very ho hum. The male main character's musings on whether the female liked him, whether they had a future together, blah, blah, blah were just eye-rollingly immature. I could go on but I've already wasted too much time on this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars JUST FAIR August 2, 2009
SHUT MOUTH SOCIETY is carried by an interesting premise and some intriguing historical theories. These kept me reading even though I often found the interactions between the main characters somewhat forced. There are some good action scenes, however, and they helped to keep my attention. The book is reminiscent of the "The Da Vinci Code," using, in this case, Abraham Lincoln as the central theme. I'd call it an okay read, particularly if one is interested in all things Lincoln.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not interesting enough to follow its twist and turns March 16, 2011
The story takes twists and turns and after a while, I found myself forgetting what the story was about and bored by the entire road trip of the protagonists. I also found it quite annoying that the man was constantly fretting over his relationship with the woman. This book brought to mind all those silly romance movies that I don't watch, which are catered to women. You sleep together and it's love. Good grief, this guy was so girlie it was annoying.

I wish there had been more focus on the history than this road trip saga with a good dose of violence here and there and has-been and loyal action figures.

Not my cup of tea.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book to read
An enjoyable tale.
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous
More in the same genre and style. Loved both main characters. Will look for and remedy more by the author
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars long and convoluted but interesting
It was definitely an interesting book. I am usually concerned when I read "historical " fiction about how much is fact and how much is literary license. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Peaches
4.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue and more intrigue
This was a bit difficult to keep sorted out in the beginning, but then became addicting. I loved seeing how the pieces eventually all fell into place.
Published 2 months ago by Ellie Engelbrecht
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Awesome book that kept me wanting more! I highly recommend this book and others by the author. Can not wait for another title.
Published 2 months ago by Cassandra Jennings
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good reading!
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Waller
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh *shrugs*
This poor book has been on my 'currently reading' list for awhile. I'd pick it up, read a few chapters, set it down, look at it again, and then go look for something else... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Autumn Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Well written, fun to read. James Best has a good imagination, and has told an interesting book. I enjoy historical fiction although this was much more fiction than historical.
Published 3 months ago by pen van
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Historical Fiction Novel
Imagine the riches available to enterprising powerful men at the end of a war, an insatiable desire for power and zealotry. Read more
Published 4 months ago by brumba
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book and I hope Mr Best writes more ...
Enjoyed this book and I hope Mr Best writes more fiction with a historical slant. I learned quite a few things about politicians of the post Civil War period.
Published 4 months ago by rwlrcl
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More About the Author

James D. Best is the author of The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Murder at Thumb Butte, The Return, and Jenny's Revenge in the Steve Dancy series. His other books include Tempest at Dawn, Principled Action, The Shut Mouth Society, and The Digital Organization.

James has written monthly columns for two magazine, ghost written several books, and published numerous journal articles. He lives with his wife, Diane, in Omaha, Nebraska.

You can learn more about James and his books at

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