Bret Austin Jones, Nest of Vipers (2002) 179 pp.
Briston Hawkshaw, a “personal agent,” or private detective, has set
up shop in San Francisco in the 1870s. Hawkshaw’s latest assignment: to
find a missing military regiment and their commander. How can a regiment
go missing? Hawkshaw immediately sets out to discover the answer. Following
a trail of suicide, murder and the death of his friend, he uncovers a diabolical
plot to re-ignite the flames of war and throw the nation into chaos yet
again. Hawkshaw must use all his powers of detection and every ounce of
his courage if he is to save the Republic, stave off an attack on San Francisco—and
prevent the assassination of President Ulysses S. Grant.