September 1939, Territory of Alaska - Four people have been brutally murdered in the prospecting community in the Dutch Hills. The victims included Harmon and Zelda Johnson, owners of a successful prospecting business, John Brady, who worked for Harmon Johnson and Elias Franks, an old prospector and long time resident of the Dutch Hills It was common kwledge that there was animosity between Elias and the Johnsons. The Johnsons had reported to the authorities that Elias had made threats and they feared for their lives. A formal complaint was never filed. At the time of the murders, law enforcement in Alaska was under the jurisdiction of the FBI. WW11 was on the horizon, and the FBI was redirecting the majority of their resources to investigate espionage cases. Unable to assign an agent to the case, it was handed over to U.S. Commissioner and Probate Judge Bob Maywood and U.S. Attorney Joe Keith. Maywood's office was in Talkeetna, the last town before the long hike to the Dutch Hills. Maywood was very familiar with the feud between the Johnsons and Elias. He knew all of victims and was convinced that this was a murder/suicide case that would quickly be resolved. Elias murdered Harmon, Zelda and John in a rage, and then committed suicide. Maywood had never kwn Elias to be a violent person but anyone could snap if they were pushed hard eugh. But the investigation would soon take a chilling turn when the coroner confirms that Elias didn't commit suicide, he was murdered. In Southern California, Harmon's brother George was desperately trying to finance a trip to Alaska. Harmon had left a large estate and the family had named George to oversee the estate. But his ex-con brother, Ron, was w in Alaska, and had convinced the authorities to name him executor of the estate. Ron had to be stopped. Crimson Gold is a fiction based on a true family story.
Donna Kolling Lear has been a fan of the mystery genre for many years. Crimson Gold is her first novel. She was born and raised in Southern California and currently lives in Santa Ana.