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Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks (Ambrose Bierce #3)

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce, San Francisco’s infamous and legendary newspaperman and sometime sleuth is hardly surprised to be hired by William Randolph Hearst when his mistress receives threats.

In steamy Sausalito, the playground of the rich and famous across the bay, Hearst’s isn’t the only case on the boil. While Ambrose and his sidekick, Tom Redmond, hunt the killer of a

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Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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dead letter office
Oakley Hall (he wrote the really pretty great western Warlock) was at the end of his life writing mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco in which the detective is the author Ambrose Bierce. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! There's so much promise in this setup, but the book was plodding and dull. Still, how had I never heard about these?
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not very good attempt at period mystery starring real-life characters Ambrose Bierce, "Willie" Randolph Hearst, and others. Hall strings together a few quotes from Bierce with pseudo-historical lingo and cheesy and offensive Chinese dialect ("San Flancisco" indeed) and pegs them to a very thin plot. Hard-boiled minimalism is one thing, but failing to tell a story is not it.

At least it was short.
Nan
Jul 27, 2009 Nan rated it liked it
Hall's a good writer, but this book is not his best. I love the setting (San Francisco in the 1890s), the characters (Ambrose Bierce, William Hearst, Winifred Bonfils), and the plot (scandalous photographs of nearly naked ladies). BUT Hall falls into all the traps that are set for writers of historical fiction. Redmond, his first person narrator, is not that likable. He's antique, quaint at best. The Chinese are caricatures. The tongs seems to be lifted out of a Charlie Chan mystery.
Robert
Oct 29, 2014 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of his best, but still a fun read - particularly if you like and know Sausalito and the surrounding hills - just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. His "top sleuth," Ambrose Bierce, is in good form - but the love affair of his sidekick, Tom Redmond, is the best part of the book. Oakley Hall died in 2008 and I'm just reading his books now - a little late. But, I'm VERY glad I started with "Love and War in California" - an excellent book.
Tom
Jul 18, 2008 Tom rated it liked it
Slight but enjoyable, especially if you a) live in San Francisco, or b) have read Ambrose Bierce. The mystery isn't all that ingenious or compelling; the payoff here is the wealth of 1890s period detail, the cast of real-life characters (in addition to Bierce, William Randolph Hearst and his mother play key roles), and the thrills of Yellow Journalism in its heyday.
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Shelves: mysteries
A fun read.
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Oakley Hall also wrote under the nom de plume of O.M. Hall and Jason Manor.

Oakley Maxwell Hall was an American novelist. He was born in San Diego, California, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and served in the Marines during World War II. Some of his mysteries were published under the pen names "O.M. Hall" and "Jason Manor." Hall received his Master of Fine Arts in English fr
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Other Books in the Series

Ambrose Bierce (5 books)
  • Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades (Ambrose Bierce, #1)
  • Ambrose Bierce and the Death of Kings (Ambrose Bierce, #2)
  • Ambrose Bierce and the Trey of Pearls (Ambrose Bierce, #4)
  • Ambrose Bierce and the Ace of Shoots (Ambrose Bierce, #5)

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