Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls by Oakley Hall
(Ambrose Bierce Mystery Novels)

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Synopsis

When three pretty young suffragists known as the Trey of Pearls come to San Francisco, the city’s brawling and unrefined men whip themselves into a lather of desire and defiance. But the murder of Reverend Divine, the famous advocate of spiritualism, temperance, and the female vote, sets Ambrose Bierce and Tom Redmond on the trail to uncover a darker side to the girls’ composure and comeliness—free love, a jeweled harem, and a web of San Francisco’s most powerful men desperately trying to cover their pasts.

As the two sleuths begin to glimpse the truth, the body count builds and tensions—both political and social—erupt into a standoff among suffragists, hard-drinking diehards, and, lurking in the shadows, the elusive murderer.

 

About Oakley Hall

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Oakley Hall is the author of more than twenty other works of fiction, including Warlock, The Downhill Racers, The Bad Lands, and Separations. He was for twenty years professor of English and director of writing programs at the University of California, Irvine, and in 1998 received a PEN Center USA West Award of Honor for lifetime literary achievement.
 
Published January 26, 2004 by Viking Adult. 224 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls

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The cub reporter’s tentative research leads to the discovery of a complex stock fraud that points—despite Bierce’s antimonopolistic suspicions (he believes the Southern Pacific Railroad guilty of everything)—to a mysterious cooperative: “the Society of Spades in Virginia City [Nevada], which was ...

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Reclusive train robber Oz Bird has just been released from prison, but he already seems to be wanted for every murder in California.

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The rumor that Mrs. Jaspers had been experiencing Devine ecstasies and that Jaspers had killed the villain who besmirched his first wife’s connubial bed 20 years ago makes the Noble Grand Humbug the obvious suspect—until somebody exonerates him by shooting him as well.

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At the behest of millionaire publisher Willie Hearst, the pair investigates two murders—that of a photographer in Hearst's employ and that of a randy British yachtsman (known as a "one-eyed jack")—as well as the theft of some intimate photos of Hearst's gorgeous mistress.

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The suffrage cause, embodied by three pretty suffragists (the "trey of pearls" of the title), provides the background for Hall's fourth literate historical (after 2003's Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks ), set in San Francisco in 1892.

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