Based on the famous, true world-class mystery and ghost story set in Coronado, California. The Beautiful Stranger was a young woman who died a violent and mysterious death in 1892, amid rumors of dark crimes and infidelities involving men in high places. She is the famous ghost who haunts the U.S. National Landmark Hotel del Coronado, near San Diego. Kings and presidents figure at the periphery. More
At the heart of this novel--based on the famous, true world-class mystery and ghost story set in 1890s Coronado, California--is a young woman remembered as the Beautiful Stranger. She died a violent and mysterious death in 1892, amid rumors of dark crimes and infidelities involving men in high places. She is the famous ghost who haunts the U.S. National Landmark Hotel del Coronado, near San Diego.
Was the dead woman Lottie Anderson Bernard, the false name under which the stylish and beautiful young woman signed into the hotel, like a star of the stage, slumming at a great resort?
Or was she Kate Morgan, the hypnotic and ruthless wife of murderer and gambler Tom Morgan, with whom she rode transcontinental trains robbing and sometimes shooting men?
Or was she impressionable and vain Elizabeh 'Lizzie' Wyllie of Detroit--pregnant and ‘ruined,’ desperately seeking marriage with a scoundrel named John Longfield, also a cardsharp?
Lethal Journey (Clocktower Books, 2009) is a fictional noir thriller--an 1892 Victorian suspense thriller, based on the real-life story of that most exalted womanly ideal, the Fallen Angel. Imagined by Dickens and many other famous authors of the 19th Century, especially Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The Beautiful Stranger (as the Hotel Del Coronado’s official book calls the dead woman) was the true incarnation of a Fallen Angel—an innocent and lovely young woman, brought to a low end not through her own fault, but through the callousness of men and women in an evil world.
Lottie A.Her story became a national sensation in the Yellow Press in the last years of the Gilded Age. The Internet of its time, the telegraph, enabled reporters to send breathless reports on an hourly basis, to newspapers around the nation.
The novel Lethal Journey captures the same dark, compelling atmosphere found in period piece movies like The Prestige and The Illusionist. The author has woven this carefully plotted, true to life novel, based on his own research, and the offical, authoritative book on Kate Morgan published by the Hotel del Coronado Heritage Department.
John T. Cullen, in 2008, has also published a painstaking, scholarly analysis of the Beautiful Stranger mystery in his nonfiction Dead Move: Kate Morgan and the Haunting Mystery of Coronado, Revised 2nd Ed.
Cullen’s careful analysis, for the first time ever, ties every loose end together. It is the first plausible explanation of the entire mystery. Lethal Journey is a dark, fast-paced thriller with strong character development--based on real people.
The Beautiful Stranger, in death, became the epitome of that greatest of Victorian heroines, the Fallen Angel. Mourned by millions around the nation, she ironically ended up in a humble and unmarked grave outside San Diego. Her numbered graveside, in the Market Street Cemetery, can be viewed today.