Book Review: Star Spangled Scandal

I managed to snag this book on Kindle last week for 99 cents. It’s back up to like $12 now, but watch the price if you are going to buy and it might come back down. I love a true story, this one has politics, scandal, and murder. Dan Sickles, then a congressman and future Union general, shoots down the son of Francis Scott Key in broad daylight, for having an affair with his wife.  He received a note from an anonymous sender that read in part, “… and sir I do assure you he has as much the use of your wife as you have.”

After a short self investigation he confronts his wife and after she admits to the affair, Sickles shoots Key and we get treated to a real old episode of Law and Order. 🙂

The first half of the story is before the murder and the second half is after, including the trial. The trial itself is intriguing. I’m pretty sure it was the first instance of a temporary insanity defense and this trial was the first time that the telegraph was used by the press to get the story out to the entire United States.

It’s a true story so maybe a spoiler alert isn’t needed- but Sickles is found not guilty. It’s a pretty long book filled with tons of details about the era, the trial, and the overall attitudes of Americans at that time.

It was excellent- highly recommend!

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