Oakley Hall. Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades (1998) 261 pp.
Publisher’s description: “When the Morton Street Slasher leaves the corpses of his victims on
the tangled gaslit streets near San Francisco’s Union Square, he marks
each one with a playing card. First the Ace of Spades. Then the Deuce.
And so on in menacing succession. Ambrose Bierce, the city’s enigmatic
newspaperman, famed cynic, and occasional sleuth, immediately blames the
rash of murders on his old enemy, the Southern Pacific Railroad. Tom Redmond,
a naïve reporter at Bierce’s Hornet, doggedly pursues the case,
uncovering conspiracy and corruption at every turn.”