Faraday, Jess. “Fool’s Gold”, (Ira Adler #3), Bold Strokes Books, 2015.
Taking it Easy?
Ira Adler is happy to have a breather for a while. He has cash, is involved in a relationship with a nice guy and everything is quiet. As we might have expected, nothing lasts that way for long and suddenly an explosion changed everything and he becomes eager to get out of London. He goes with some friends to America where they have a family matter to settle. After a lovely cruise across the ocean and a dalliance (I love that word) with a good-looking officer of the law, Ira realizes that he is involved in something that reaches the back alleys of London and the roads of California. Before he even has a chance to think about what is going on, Ira is involved with “train robbers, rattlesnakes, unscrupulous cattle kings, and persistent young women driven to frenzy by his exotic accent”. And then just when he is ready to go home to London, something else happens even though he wants to go home. Now he has a decision to make—will he return to London or will he stay in the States?
It has been a long time since I have read any of the books that Jess Faraday has written so I felt strange jumping into the third volume of the Ira Adler series but then I realized that I did not have to read any of the other two in order to understand this book. Faraday let us know right off that Ira is 30 years old and gay and lives in London in 1895. In the past life had been difficult for him—he was an orphan who worked the street, worked for a Mafia boss, Cain Goddard, but he has pulled himself up and now works as a secretary. Ira lives by himself, has a nice salary and a regular guy to share his bed and affections. Goddard calls him to his home and the last time Ira had seen him was when Goddard beat him up a few years earlier. They had once been in a relationship together and it was Goddard that got Ira off of the street and out of prostitution. As Ira made his way to Goddard’s house, he ran late and as he approached the property, it blew up. The investigation that followed was far from honest and Ira was filled with questions about Goddard and what went down. He did, however, receive an inheritance of 250,000 pounds sterling.
Ira was filled with grief and his friends Tim and Bess Lazarus convince him to come to California with them to help deal with a dispute that has to deal with Bess’s mother. But of course even the voyage across the Atlantic has problems and Ira finds himself involved in a theft investigation. It seems that a Colonel Wilkes, a former war hero has a valet named Marcus who once worked the street with Ira. Then when he is on the train from New York City to California there was also intrigue. But don’t think that is all and if I have a problem with the book it is there is just too much going on in Ira’s life and sometimes he always manages to survive. In fact, it goes beyond survival here. Not only has Ira eschewed his old ways but he also has money (from Goddard) and he finds another romantic interest. Author Faraday has done her research well and she provides us with some interesting historical information as well as a very interesting character in Ira. There are some open endings here which probably means there is a sequel or two coming.