Octave Thanet. The Lion’s Share (1907) 376 pp. Illustrations by E.M. Ashe.
Colonel Rupert Winter a wealthy war hero from the Philippine front of the Spanish-American War overhears what seems to be a plot against his even wealthier and formidable Aunt Rebecca and their ward and his nephew Archie. He joins them on a cross-country train trip from Chicago along with his sister-in-law and his aunt’s attractive companion. They stop off in San Francisco in the spring of 1906, but, shortly after they check into the Palace Hotel, Archie goes missing. As the Colonel follows the clues through the streets of San Francisco he has to figure out who are the friends and who the foes while danger closes in, always having to evaluate his analysis for the bias of stirring heart-strings. The mystery unwinds against the back-drop of ruthless intrigue in the young world of high finance and under the shadow of the inevitable quake and fire.
Setting: San Francisco