Esther and Lucia Chamberlain. The Coast of Chance (1908) 464, [1] pp. Illustrated by Clarence F. Underwood.
Flora Gilsey, fatherless and motherless, has been in San Francisco society for three years. She lives in the home of a young widow, Clara Britton, and is engaged to the charming Harry Cressy. Her adventure begins when she learns about the daring theft of an old and valuable ring that was going to be auctioned from the estate of a young woman named Bessie Chatsworth who had died suddenly and tragically. Harry, who had seen the ring before it was stolen offers this description: “Like a bit of an old gold heathen god curled round himself, with his head, which was mostly two yellow sapphires, between his knees, and a big, blue stone on top. Soft, yellow gold, so fine you could almost dent it. And carved!” The theft has all the earmarks of a job by a notorious English thief named Farrell Wand, who has so far eluded Scotland Yard. Consequently, suspicion immediately falls upon Mr. Kerr, a mysterious Englishman who has recently arrived in San Francisco. Then Harry takes Flora to Chinatown to buy her an engagement ring where they deal with a strange “blue-eyed Chinaman” and come away with a beautiful blue sapphire. Flora soon realizes that she is possession of part of the Chatsworth ring and that Harry knows more about it than he is letting on. A bit long on exposition and a bit short on plot, the novel, nevertheless, offers an intriguing glimpse of turn-of-the-century San Francisco.
Setting: San Francisco; San Mateo
Baird & Greenwood 432