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The Old Queen's Treasure: A Kohala Coast Thriller    by Michael A. Herr Amazon.com order for
Old Queen's Treasure
by Michael A. Herr
Order:  USA  Can
Lulu, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
*   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

On October 15, 2006, an earthquake shook the Big Island of Hawaii. Several things happened. Terry Maegher, dreaming of her deceased husband, awoke to find her mother's house shaking. In Hilo, churches, hospitals, and private homes experienced the fifteen-second quake that seemed to go on forever. An aftershock between Hilo and Kona opened a chamber in a lava tube over seven hundred years old. Inside the chamber were three long-dead bodies.

There are several stories in this book. The first tells how the bodies of a Hawaiian chieftain, a tribesman and a Chinese sea Captain became encased in the lava chamber in 1422. The second is about Professor Hwang Tam from the University of Beijing, and Professor Simon Thompson of Stanford University and his research assistant Felicia. The three are invited on an archeological dig on the Big Island of Hawaii. Felicia arranges for them to stay with her fiancÚ's family (including his sister Teri Maegher) near the dig site. The third story is how Felicia and the family interact.

Hwang Tam is interested in proving the Chinese found the Islands long before Columbus. Grave robber's loot turning up in the shop of a local entrepreneur sharpens his attention. Interest and ambition turns to greed on the part of Tam, Professor Thompson and others involved in retrieving the treasure. Greed leads to murder and Felicia is caught in the middle. As Felicia continues the dig without Professor Thompson and Tam, she finds a fresh skull. That is the basis for the subsequent Kohala Coast Thriller.

There is much Hawaiian history in The Old Queen's Treasure. An explanation of the Hawaiian words would have been helpful. Michael Herr has written two previous books in the Kohali Coast Thriller series.

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