Book TWO in the Red Dog Conspiracy series.
From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Patricia Loofbourrow.
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She just wanted an easy case ...
Private eye Jacqueline Spadros, recovering from her harrowing experiences the week prior, wants nothing more than a simple, straightforward case - preferably one the Spadros Family won't find out about. Aristocratic jewel merchant Dame Anastasia Louis, aka "The Queen of Diamonds," seems to be offering the perfect arrangement.
But Jacqui can't leave the madman "Black Jack" Diamond's crimes unpunished. And the more she learns, the more she begins to believe that this particular job wasn't such a good idea after all...
This is the second chapter of a 13-part serial novel:
- The Jacq of Spades
- The Queen of Diamonds <-- you are here
- The Ace of Clubs
- The King of Hearts
- The Ten of Spades
- The Five of Diamonds
- The Two of Hearts
- The Three of Spades
- The Knave of Hearts
- Book 10 coming in 2023!
The Red Dog Conspiracy is one very big story, and each book is a chapter in it. It's highly advised to read the first book of this series before going further.
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Enjoy a sample from The Queen of Diamonds:
A domed city split by four rivers, an island at its center. In the southeast quadrant, a white mansion stood on 192nd street in a heavy downpour. On the second story, a folded newspaper lay atop a tea-table.
I sat at the tea-table gazing at the curtain of water formed by the rain as it passed over the eaves. Thunder cracked, whip-like, as lightning flashed. Black clouds hung in the early morning sky.
Seven days ago, the gentleman investigator Blaze Rainbow and I rescued twelve-year-old David Bryce from his kidnappers. Could I ever forget the sound of blood dripping, the gore splattered on white walls, the screams and moans of dying men?
This past week in my sickbed, I had ample time to consider this matter. The men I killed had friends, families, people who loved them. Could I have found another way to escape that basement and avoid whatever horrors Frank Pagliacci and Jack Diamond planned for us?
A coughing fit struck, and when it passed, I drew my robe around me, exhausted. I had been ill ever since I was caught in the storm after delivering little David to his mother. Between sickness and my more womanly troubles of a monthly nature, the past week had been miserable. I lit a cigarette, gulped down honey-lemon tea, and unfolded the newspaper, hoping to find something more pleasant. Then I saw the headline:
Alcatraz Coup 100th Anniversary Celebration Planned
Clubbs Host Zeppelin Station Spectacular
Back home in the Pot, March 1st was a day of mourning. Here, they celebrated.
The Pot was once the most beautiful part of the city of Bridges. A hundred years ago, Xavier Alcatraz betrayed his king, Polansky Kerr. With the help of the first Acevedo Spadros, he slaughtered my people. Today the Pot lay in ruins, its inhabitants despised. The idea of celebrating their treachery almost made me throw the paper away.
But then I discovered this article:
'Miracle Gem' Health Benefits
A Breakthrough in Modern Medicine
The esteemed physician Dr. Overs Gocow of London presented a report at the Royal Academy of Science General Conference Tuesday with the results of his research into the spinel gemstone. According to his studies, this jewel provides benefit in various illnesses and a general health improvement to those without malady.
Dr. Gocow produced a document specifying illnesses treated with each gem color, with recipes for various tonics and elixirs. His document was received with acclaim from the physicians at the conference, who were interested in conducting their own research on the subject.
Spinel is a naturally appearing gem, dug from the earth near the tonic spring near Agree, at the outpost located in Old Montana. It is thought that the gem's proximity to the tonic spring may contribute to its beneficial properties.
Being ill myself (and weary of it), I found this article fascinating. If I obtained a gem, perhaps I might avoid illness in the future. Where might I purchase one? I searched for more about these gems, and found this article in the financial section:
Gemstone Merchants Posting Record Sales
Trade in the so-called 'miracle' gemstone spinel has been brisk over the past two weeks, with the price of the gems going up weekly. The Bridges Daily editor, Mr. Acol Durak, interviewed the noted Market Center financier Tenace Mitchell:
AD: What are the future prospects for spinel sales?
TM: This is the best investment in decades.
AD: How did you come to this conclusion?
TM: Any time you have a new product combined with a scientific breakthrough, the opportunity for profit is good. In this case, where the product brings clear health benefits, the price can only go up.
We in Bridges are fortunate to have leading gemologist Dame Anastasia Louis with us. She obtained license to produce the tonics and elixirs according to Dr. Gocow's specifications to be shipped for sale to the rest of the country.
AD: So this discovery will bring jobs and commerce to Bridges as well.
Could this be true? I didn't recall the name Tenace Mitchell, but I had no knowledge of finance. I searched the paper further. In the classifieds, a large advertisement read:
Louis Gemstones And Fine Jewelry
Cut, Polished, And Set By
"The Queen of Diamonds"
Dame Anastasia Louis, Expert Gemologist
Featuring "The Miracle Gem"
15116 Snow, Spadros
This sounded terribly exciting. Dame Anastasia had been one of my informants for years. Not only that, she lived on our very street. Why had she not once told me of it?