I recently ordered a copy of The Cosgrove Report, a novel by G.J.A. Toole. It was originally published in 1979 and came highly recommended. The full title is The Cosgrove Report: Being the Private Inquiry of a Pinkerton Detective into the Death of President Lincoln. So it’s right up my alley.
Because it’s three decades old, the book has gone through several editions. Mine is a reissue from Grove Books. The cover immediately struck me. It’s almost identical to Drood, by Dan Simmons. The photo on both books–a shrouded figure who wears a top hot, seen from the rear–is credited to Ken Rosenthal/Corbis. The upper right-hand corner features an iconic building (the Capitol and Big Ben). The color schemes and title fonts are different, but that’s about it. Both books–the Grove reissue of The Cosgrove Report and the hardcover first edition of Drood–were published in February 2009. So it’s either proof of the proverb that great minds think alike, or someone ripped off an idea.
For what it’s worth, I wrote about Drood in the Wall Street Journal last year.