Michael Castleman. The Lost Gold of San Francisco (2003) 388 pp.
Publishers description: Its the day of the Big One, the 1906 earthquake. Fire engulfs the San Francisco Mint, as armed gangs plan to loot its
vault. In the smoky chaos, a large shipment of misstruck $20 gold pieces leaves the Mint, headed for Denver to be melted back into bullion. The coins disappear.
Only two of the gold pieces ever turn up. The become the most storied coins in U.S. history. The rest become the lost gold of San Francisco, the citys
most enduring mystery. Fast-forward to 1989. The billionaire publisher of San Franciscos leading newspaper, The Foghorn, donates his priceless coin
collection to the venerable California Museum. It contains one of the two known misstruck 1906 $20 gold pieces. Brash reporter Ed Rosenberg covers the
even. Then the founder of the Museum turns up murdered. Ed chases the story all over the City by the Bay. Along the way, he encounters a rogues gallery
of feisty San Franciscans: the bombastic editor of the alternative weekly, an art dealer with a thug on his payroll, the publisher of a sleazy skin magazine,
a rabbinical school drop-out who shoots a mean game of pool, a young Chinese-American reporter with a black belt in karate, and a talented public relations
woman whos even more talented in private. More bodies drop, and Ed suspects a connection with the lost gold. Soon Ed isnt just reporting the story. Someone
is shooting at him.