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Golden Conspiracy: A Jacsen Kidd Mystery Paperback – Large Print, August 28, 2009
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About the Author
Robert James Glider and his wife make their home on the east coast of Florida where they enjoy sailing, and other water sports, including snorkeling and diving. Glider, who has his law degree, is also an adventurer/explorer who has traveled extensively through the Caribbean, Hawaii, and South America for his research.
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A Jacsen Kidd Mystery
By: Robert James Glider
The business of Jacsen Kidd, the eleventh-generation ancestor of the infamous pirate, Captain Kidd, is hunting treasure - and, business is good. With the financial backing of his culinary friend, the master gourmet and chef Pericles Schmoond, Kidd tracks down the clues that lead them to a hoard of Spanish conquistador booty that could be worth over a billion (thatfs with a "b") dollars - nice work, if you can get it. In Robert James Gliderfs action-packed debut mystery novel, Golden Conspiracy, Kidd and Schmoond are pursued by an obsessed and ruthless antiquities dealer, Louis Damia, who will stop at nothing to steal the gold away from the duo once they find it. Also hot on their trial is the ex-KGB assassin, Garth Moska, who has a score to settle with Jacsen. Though new on the scene as a mystery writer, Glider hits a home run his first time at bat with Golden Conspiracy. Here's hoping it'll be just the first in a long string of mysteries featuring the unique and colorful treasure hunters Jacsen Kidd and Pericles Schmoond.
Jacsen has a hunch that the Spanish ship the Solitario, which met a fiery finish in 1503 off of the coast of Florida, didnft go down to Davy Jonesfs locker with its cargo of galleons and gold bullion. It traveled with another ship, the Santa Ynez, and the Solitariofs tale was told in two accounts that Kidd obtains access to. One is a diary written by its navigator, Francisco Callejo, and the other is the captainfs log of the Santa Ynez. He believes that at some point in the one-day period before its destruction and the deaths of most of the conquistadors aboard that the gold was unloaded to a third ship, and that this ship managed to sail around the cape of South America before Magellan, and almost made it all the way to Hawaii. A terrible storm arose, and only one of the conquistadors lived through it, making to a beach on Molokai and leaving a sort of map behind before he was captured and later died.
Jac bases these surmises on the fact that a Spanish-style Christian cross and petroglyphs depicting a bearded man were discovered in Molokai. Though the evidence is scant, Jac and Peri believe that it might be possible that whatever mysterious Spaniard visited Molokai in the early sixteenth century might have left behind his golden breastplate medallion, and that a map might be engraved upon its surface. To prove this somewhat wild hypothesis, they fly to Hawaii and then on to Molokai.
There's plenty of action and adventure in the novel, as I mentioned. Jacsen reminds me of a cross between Johnny Depp's take on Jack Sparrow from Disneyfs Pirates of the Carribean movies, and James Bond. Sparrow, because he was a pirate and Jac is descended from a famous pirate, and they both go by Jack, though Kidd spells his version without the "k". Jac is a womanizer, like Bond, and he has military experience, having been in a special ops unit during the Gulf War, so he knows how to use weapons and fight hand-to-hand, like Bond.
Nicole ("Nikki") Thomas is assigned by Damia to keep tabs on Jac and Peri and learn more about their plans and the gold. She believes itfll be a task she can readily handle, but she canft help but fall for Jac, and regret her association with Damia. She is afraid that if she tells Jac the truth, though, Damia will find out and have her killed. When Damia and his bodyguards are murdered and she is the one who discovers their dead bodies in a hotel room, Nikki finally lets Jac know the truth - or most of it - but it's awhile before Jac feels he can trust her.
What's puzzling to Jac is who was responsible for Damiafs death, and for seemingly protecting him and Peri at other times, like when two thugs try to start a fight with them in a restaurant and get shot by someone who is bald headed and an expert marksman. Jac knew only one person like that, the Russian assassin Garth Moska, but he supposedly died trying to blow up a ship they both were in during a fight with Jac. Jac barely escaped with his life, and there were no reports of any other survivors, but the surveillance they're under and the expert marksmanship of whomever it is that's trailing them suggests that the rumors of Moska's demise have been, like Mark Twain's, greatly exaggerated.
Golden Conspiracy is a remarkable debut novel that should appeal to anyone who loves action-packed, suspenseful mysteries. Therefs already a sequel in the works, Golden Legacy, and the first chapter of it is included at the end of this novel. Ifm anxiously awaiting its publication, so I can read more about the adventures of Jac and Peri. If the second novel is as good or better than the first one in this new series, Golden Legacy will be very good, indeed. If you like action-filled, edge-of-your-seat mysteries, I strongly urge you to check out Golden Conspiracy today!
--Douglas R. Cobb--
The prologue starts in 1503 with a clue that was left in a cave behind a waterfall in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Then the story jumps to Thanksgiving Day 2010 and we meet the main characters of the story. Jacson Kidd, a descendant of the infamous pirate Captain Kidd, is a charming, cunning, adventure seeker who has discovered his share of treasures in life. Our other hero, Pericles Schmoond is a world class chef. They unlikely pair have a strong friendship, much like brothers. An ancient artifact is discovered on a beach in Hawaii and the pair is off to find the missing gold. But, they are not the only ones.
This fast paced story kept me turning pages until the very end. I enjoyed the author's style of writing. He provided great details of the settings. I could imagine myself trekking through the ancient trails on the island of Molokai. The story is told through several characters point-of-view, but it still flowed nicely (once I figured out the main players were). There is a bit of romance in the story, just enough to create a softer side to the heroes.
My favorite part of this story was the treasure hunting. The author used historical references to Columbus, Balboa, and Queen Isabella. The treasure seekers travel from Hawaii to South America in search of the riches. I found myself holding my breath at times wondering if they would survive some of the treatcherous situations they found themselves in. This was an edge of your seat book!
After visiting the Robert James Glider's website, I learned that there are at least two more books planned in the Jacson Kidd Mystery Series. The next two titles are Golden Legacy and Golden Footprint. They will be on my wish list!
The cargo of gold, mentioned above, had an estimated value of thirty million dollars in 1502 with it's value being well over a billion today. Jac Kidd, who is a distant off-spring of the famous Captain Kidd, was determined to find the gold and learn what really happened during it fatal transport to Queen Isabella. So, when a gold cross dating back to the 1500's is found on a beach in Hawaii, he and his best friend/partner Pericles Schmoond strike out to solve the puzzle of the missing gold.
In Golden Conspiracy, Glider takes you from Hawaii, the Caribbeans and on into South America as they follow the clues. But they aren't alone in their quest. As they will soon find out, ex-KGB Garth Moska, who Kidd thought was killed when a ship he and Moska were on blew up off the coast of England, is right behind them.
When I first started reading Golden Conspiracy I had my doubts as to whether I would like it or not. But the more I read, the harder it was for me to put down. The turn of each page increased my desire to read the next. This was truly a very enjoyable book.