Imperial Legacy

Claude Brickell is an author of international mystery suspense. His Art Sleuth Mysteries series follows young, likable and accomplished art historian Michael Bennington as he searches the world for lost or stolen art and artifacts that, more often than not, land him in thrilling and provocative, and even erotic encounters, that only Bennington’s quirky escapades can do. The following is one such installment:

This modern-day adventure, rooted in a rich, historical past, has art historian Michael Bennington approached at a New York jewelry auction by a pleasant enough couple from Belgium, nobility actually, who wish to engage him in a curious assignment. He must track down the whereabouts of a priceless diamond and ruby necklace, once owned by Empress Carlota of Mexico, the couple thought they purchased, but after having it appraised, discovered it was only a cut-glass fake. What the couple wants is for Michael to trace the artifact’s history and determine when the original got switched with the fake. He accepts the assignment with a heightened passion, his specialty is 19th century jewels, and he’s off to various locales: St. Petersburg, Paris, Los Angeles and New York ending up in Brussels for a harrowing life-and-death finale. The quirky former owners of the artifact are all beyond belief, but historically accurate, and their exotic and lurid pasts both astound and captivate. Imperial Legacy continues the entertaining exploits of the likable Bennington character in this second installment.

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