The Story behind ‘Maximilian’s Treasure’ by James D. Bell


A grizzled old Choctaw man told my friend and me that he believed that Civil War gold was on his farm.  He believed that Maximilian, the Emperor of Mexico, sent gold to support the South’s war effort, and that none other than Jesse James, then a member of the Confederate Cavalry, was in charge of the shipment.  The war ended when the gold was near his farm and was hidden there.  He asked us to help him find the treasure.  My friend and I said, “Why not?”  We travelled with him to his farm and had a great day listening to his stories while we searched with him.

This experience became the inspiration for Maximilian’s Treasure, a legal thriller/action adventure guaranteed to keep your heart pounding.  Each page will compel you to turn just one more page until you’re swept into a triple climax that will leave you breathless.  While researching the book, I discovered a historical basis for the old man’s story.  Maybe he was right!  If only I could remember the location of the farm.

You might think this unusual.  It’s not.  It’s just another day of law practice in Mississippi, where the unusual and outlandish is an everyday occurrence.  This was one of many stories from over forty years of law practice that I am desperate to tell.  I have a passion to write great adventures inspired by these experiences.  My best friend and I were young lawyers defending citizens charged with crimes in Mississippi.  We attracted a bit of attention because we kept winning cases.  Jack was a loyal friend, an intrepid investigator, and a great researcher.  Together we regularly accomplished what at first seemed impossible.  Jack died twenty years ago; too young, too soon.  I miss him.  I brought him back to life in my novels.

Many stories today seem to be written just for shock value or for entertainment.  I remember when every book, movie and program had a “moral to the story.” That’s why I write: to put the moral back in the story while gripping and entertaining the reader. Let me hear from you after you read Maximilian’s Treasure, and enjoy the story!


Genre: Romance/Adventure
Author: James D. Bell
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book:
Rumors of a legendary treasure fuel a battle over possession of a Choctaw family farm.  Two young lawyers, John Brooks and Jackson Bradley, agree to help the family keep their farm.  Early legal success prompts the drive-by murder of the patriarch of the family.  The grandson chases the suspects whose bodies are found on the farm, scalped.  At the same time clues to a vast treasure are found on the farm.  Jackson, pursued by fortune seekers, adventurers, an exotic beauty and a homicidal maniac, follows the clues from a Caribbean reef to the Chiapas jungle.  John stays behind to defend the grandson and continue the fight for the farm.  His efforts are complicated by arson, murder, race riots, and the realization that he lost his one true love.  Though there is great distance between them, their adventures are intertwined as they rush toward a triple climax that could shake the world.  Join the adventure and discover your Maximilian’s Treasure.
About the Author:
James D. Bell is an award-winning author and retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America and Top 100 Attorneys of North America.  He is the author of two novels, Vampire Defense and Maximilian’s Treasure.  His short story, The Adventures of Sherlock Hound, was published in Mardi Allen’s collection, Dog Stories for the Soul, alongside stories from Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Willie Morris and others.  The son of a Choctaw mother and a Mississippi businessman, Judge Bell is devoted to his wife, Joanne.  They live near Jackson, Mississippi and have four children.  Judge Bell returned to law practice but is frequently called back to the bench by the Mississippi Supreme Court for short term assignments.
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