Author Tags: Fiction

B.R. Bentley has lived in South Africa, Canada and Bermuda while enjoying a successful career as a banker and corporate executive. He is an avid sailor and scuba diver.

B.R. Bentley's first novel, The Cross, was inspired by the theft of the Tucker Cross in 1975. After lying undisturbed in the ocean for almost 400 years, The Tucker Cross was discovered off the coast of Bermuda at the site of the wreck of the Spanish galleon, San Pedro, in 1955. Twenty years later, the staff at Bermuda's Maritime Museum would learn that the emerald-encrusted solid gold cross had been stolen; switched in its case with a worthless replica shortly before an official visit from Queen Elizabeth II. Despite an international investigation by its insurer’s and the police, it would never be recovered. The Cross is a fictional account of the theft of the gold pectoral cross salvaged from the sunken Spanish galleon. [See below]

In a sequel, The Bermuda Key, Bentley has revisited the investigation into the
disappearance of the original cross, while simultaneously following the attempts of the various protagonists to obtain possession of a priceless key hidden within. Only one of the salvage divers and a mysterious group of cardinals known as the Silenti, are aware that the cross contains a hidden key. Only the cardinals know of the key’s significance to the Papacy.


The Cross (Friesen 2014) $19.99 978-1-4602-4021-2

The Bermuda Key (Friesen 2015) U.S. $16.99 pb, $27.99 hc, $4.99 e-book

[BCBW 2016]

Tucker Cross backgrounder
Article (2014)

from Bermuda News
The still unsolved mystery of the theft of a valuable gold and emerald artifact from a Bermudian museum has served as the inspiration for a new book by a former Bermuda resident.

The Cross – written by B.R. Bentley – was inspired by the theft of the Tucker Cross in 1975.

Mr. Bentley lived and worked in Bermuda from 2007 through 2011 and said he “absolutely loved it.”

The Canadian citizen [B.R. Bentley is a pseudonym under which he writes] said he was intrigued by the story of the Tucker Cross from the moment he first heard of it in 2007, and thought it would make a great novel and/or movie.

Found by legendary Bermudian diver Teddy Tucker in 1955, the emerald studded 22 karat gold Tucker Cross was considered one of the most valuable pieces of sunken treasure ever found at that time, and is believed to have come from a Spanish galleon which was lost on the reefs in the 1500?s.

In 1975, just before an official visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the Maritime Museum to view the treasure, it was discovered that somehow the Tucker Cross had been stolen and a replica left in its place.

Despite an investigation which reputedly involved multiple international agencies, the original has never been recovered, and the crime remains one of the marine community’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

The book’s description says, “After nearly 400 years, an emerald-encrusted gold pectoral cross belonging to the Catholic Church is discovered by two salvage divers off the coast of Bermuda.

“Carried by an Augustinian friar on the ill-fated Spanish galleon San Pedro, which sank in 1596, the cross contains a priceless hidden key.

“The divers want it for the money. The Bermuda government wants it for its historical value. A group of cardinals known as the “Silenti” want it for the key hidden inside. Only one of the divers and the cardinals are aware of the key. Only the cardinals know of its significance to the Papacy.

“Displayed in the Bermuda Maritime Museum since its discovery, it is not until Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the island nine years later that the cross in the museum is found to be a fake,” the book’s description continued.

“Who made the forgery and who stole the original cross? Who has the key and what is its significance to the Church?

“Inspired by real events, the crime on which The Cross is based remains one of Bermuda’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Fact and fiction are skilfully woven together throughout this debut novel from author B. R. Bentley as the characters conspire to achieve their aims.”