The Silk Train Murder
A Klondike Era Mystery
by Sharon Rowse
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At the turn of the last century, sleek steam liners carried a fortune in silk from the Orient to Vancouver. The costly material, insured by the day, was rushed to New York in specially designed silk trains, which became the target of every crook across the continent.
In an era of silk trains and Klondike gold, a body found on the railroad docks sends gentleman/adventurer John Lansdowne Granville racing to uncover a killer in a frontier town where he knows no one. Failing to strike it rich in the Klondike, Granville has taken a job guarding the silk trains, along with his friend and fellow gold-hunter Sam Scott.
When Granville and Scott find gangster Clive Jackson's body on the wharf one snowy morning, Scott is arrested for murder. Neither the police nor Scott himself seem to have any interest in clearing Scott’s name. And in Vancouver, they hang murderers.
Granville is determined to clear his friend, and his hunt for the real killer takes him to the seedy side of the city; to burlesque halls, gambling joints and down along Dupont Street -- two blocks of brothels and opium dens along the reeking mudflats.Granville finds allies in Emily Turner, the emancipated daughter of a very Victorian father, and Trent Davis, a young, would-be silk train robber, who is determined to go straight. The trail to find Jackson’s killer leads him to glamorous fan dancers, crime bosses, an enemy from the Klondike, a former Oxford schoolmate, an ambitious young reporter and a pair of Dupont street prostitutes.
Can Granville sort out silk trains, smuggling rings, opium dealers, houses of ill repute, power struggles, blackmail and betrayal in time to trap a killer and save his friend?
- Three Cedars Press, November 2012
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