"The Cask of Death and Other Crimes" is shown on a bookshelf in the research room at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VIII

"The Cask of Death and Other Crimes" is shown on a bookshelf in the research room at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VIII

The book covers of two mystery novels are shown on a table. The books are "Missing or Murdered" by Robin Forsythe and "Mystery in the Channel" by Freeman Wills Crofts.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VII

By Thomas F. Schwartz Two English mystery writers whose works were on the shelves at Camp Rapidan were Robin Forsythe and Freeman Wills Crofts. Both were born in 1879, Forsythe in Punjab, British India now Pakistan and Crofts in Dublin, Ireland. Both were popular during the “Golden Age” of detective fiction, roughly the two decades of 1920 … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VII

The books "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" and "The Omnibus of Crime" are placed next to each other on a table.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VI

By Thomas F. Schwartz Two titles on the shelves at Camp Rapidan were authors considered the best writers of the mystery genre: Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, often claimed to be the best mystery novel written by Christie, and The Omnibus of Crime, edited by Dorothy L. Sayers, offer interesting … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VI

The dedication page of "The Tapestry Room Murder" by Carolyn Wells Houghton. It says: "To Herbert Hoover, my long time friend who lives up to the presidential tradition of liking detective stories."

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part V, Carolyn Wells Houghton

By Thomas F. Schwartz Carolyn Wells was born on June 18, 1862, in Rahway, New Jersey. She worked as a librarian after completing her education, accounting for her interest in books and writing. Her marriage to Hadwin Houghton, heir to the publishing house Houghton-Mifflin, provided an additional tie to the book world.  Author of 170 books, … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part V, Carolyn Wells Houghton

A page inside of the mystery novel "The Matilda Hunter Murder" tells readers to stop and guess who the murderer is. Readers at the time were encouraged to send in their guess as to "who done it."

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part IV

By Thomas F. Schwartz Lawrence Saunders (a pseudonym for the married couple John Burton Davis and Clare Ogden Davis, not the Lawrence Saunders of The Anderson Tapes) and Harry Stephen Keeler are relatively unknown today but were rather well-known mystery writers in their day. The Columnist Murder (1931) was dedicated to Walter Winchell, the infamous gossip … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part IV

A group sits inside the President's cabin at Camp Rapidan. Lou Henry Hoover is seen on the left with guests.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part III

A group sits inside the President's cabin at Camp Rapidan. Lou Henry Hoover is seen on the left knitting. By Thomas F. Schwartz Many of the leading mystery writers of the era were English and tended to place murder settings in country manors. Class status, a pronounced feature of British society up to and beyond World … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part III

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part II

August 20, 1932: President Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover and Weegie relaxing at Rapidan Camp. By Thomas F. Schwartz How do we know what mystery writers were read by the Hoovers and available for visitors to Camp Rapidan? There are two boxes of 3x5” cards with the names of the author, title, and location of the … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part II

Lou Henry Hoover and Herbert Hoover sitting and reading at Camp Rapidan. (31-1930-70)

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part I

Lou Henry Hoover and Herbert Hoover sitting and reading at Camp Rapidan. (31-1930-70) By Thomas F. Schwartz A previous blog post described the friendship the Hoover’s shared with mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart. A review of the books they owned and provided for guests at Camp Rapidan shows a number of leading mystery writers that … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part I

Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Groucho and Other Solicitations Made to an Ex-President. By Thomas F. Schwartz It was not uncommon in the Nineteenth Century for sitting and former presidents to publically endorse commercial products and services, usually without compensation.  In 1862, Abraham Lincoln wrote a glowing endorsement for his foot doctor: “Dr. Zacharie, has, with great dexterity, taken some … Continue reading Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?