Diamond Mountain by Mark S. R. Sterling

Lady Strangways invades the Old West.

In 1870, the world’s largest diamond field is discovered in American Indian country. London financier Nathan Rothschild joins forces with San Francisco entrepreneur Asbury Harpending to control the new wealth. To protect his investment, Rothschild dispatches consulting detective, and sometime spy, Lady Theodora Strangways to shadow Harpending.

Theodora’s adventures stretch from London to San Francisco. Through the desert and chased by Indians, she finally scales Diamond Mountain to find the secret of the treasure.

Lady Strangways’ escapades include inviting several men into her bed. Thus, this story is best suited for adult readers.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JR8G5JT/

LS_DM_Cover_Wester

“I say there, Teddy, are you dining here tonight?”

The unseen voice spoke the nickname, Teddy, frequently used by Lady Theodora Strangways’ close friends. However, in The Brookes Club, it would have been socially unacceptable to reveal a woman’s given name. Nonetheless, it was clear to Theodora that this man knew her well.

She pivoted to see Nathan Rothschild and another man approaching. Both men were only about thirty years old, clean shaven, and impeccably dressed in their white silk shirts and black frock coats.

“Natty,” she addressed Rothschild. While the use of formal titles was considered bad form in Brooke’s, the two were close friends. Had he been ten years older, he was one man she would have considered marrying. The fact he was a Member of Parliament, and in-line to become Baron Rothschild, had nothing to do with her interest. However, being Jewish, his family would have never accepted a marriage to her. “I’ve already dined, but I am looking for a partner to pass the time. And your friend is?”

“Ah, forgive me. This is Asbury Harpending, from America. A financial genius.” Given Nathan’s pre-eminent position in London’s financial district, Theodora knew this to be a substantial compliment. “You must join us. I insist.” Rothschild held Theodora’s arm, and guided her toward the dining room.

“Actually, Natty, I am, uh—”

“Working! Oh, my word, you are upon one of your famous adventures. So, the stories are true. What is it today? A foreign spy sent to topple our government? An assassin bearing down upon the Queen?”

“No, more like a common jewel thief.” She instantly regretted the statement; the potential violation of her pledge to Mr. Keller.

“And, to whom among our membership could that apply?”

“Come now, Natty, I’ve said too much. However, could I suggest that table over there?” She directed Nathan’s attention to an empty table, near the one occupied by Margarete and her escort.

“I seem to be missing out of a joke, or something.” Asbury said, as he took his seat.

“Yes, my friend, you are,” Nathan said, but did not explain.

“Mr. Harpending—”

“Oh, you must call me Asbury. And may I be presumptuous and address you as Teddy. You see, I know no other name for you.”

While she did not necessarily approve of the American addressing her in such a familiar manner, she did not wish to state her name.

“Of course, Asbury. Anyway, you see, I am a detective,” she explained.

“From Scotland Yard, and all that?”

“No, not a policeman. Asbury, our dear Teddy is to England what Allan Pinkerton is to America,” Nathan said.

“Well, my hat’s off to you, Miss Teddy.” Asbury raised his hand, and mimicked tipping an imaginary hat.

Theodora said nothing, but she did smile.

A waiter appeared. The two men ordered beefsteak, while they could convince Theodora to order nothing more than a champagne cocktail.

“Quite seriously, Teddy,” Nathan said. “What are you doing here tonight?” An unescorted woman in Brooke’s was certainly not kosher, but he did not state that fact.

An idea struck Theodora. “Don’t turn around now, but the woman in the green gown behind you… I need to talk to her about some dealings in which her husband is involved. She is a hanger-on, and while neither of you true gentlemen would ever have anything to do with such a woman, could I persuade one of you to separate her from that elderly gent, and get her alone? Thus, I can keep her cornered for a private conversation.”

“Ah, the thrill of the chase,” Asbury said. “Pick me, oh please, let me be the one.”

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JR8G5JT/

About the Author:

Mark S. R. Sterling is a semi-retired industrial safety engineer who left full time employment during the recent surge in unemployment.  {Yes, you may read between the lines.}  Now, when not actually gainfully employed, he spends his time trading stock market index options, or traveling and visiting his children in the I-95 Corridor along the US Southeast coast.

Mark’s entertainment is the ocean.  He enjoys the beach, sailing, fishing, scuba diving and the ever popular barstool warming in waterfront taverns.  It is in this last activity where he enjoys his all-time favorite pastime of simply meeting people.  You see, while Mark’s stories are fictional, the specific incidents and characters are built from somebody’s real life.

So the next time you are in a waterfront tavern and someone engages you in conversation open up and tell something interesting about your life.  Then, you will be a character in Mark’s next book.


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