By Ann Parker
(Poisoned Pen Press, Hardcover, 9781590589618, 250pp.)
Publication Date: November 2011
Categories: Mystery & Detective - General
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In summer 1880, many come to the fast-rising health resort of Manitou, Colorado, at the foot of Pike’s Peak to “chase the cure” for tuberculosis.
But Inez Stannert, part-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville, travels for a different reason. After a long separation, she’s reuniting with her young son, William, and her beloved sister, Harmony. However, the stagecoach journey to Manitou turns lethal when East Coast businessman Edward Pace mysteriously dies under the horrified gaze of Inez and Pace’s wife and children. After they arrive at the hotel, Pace’s widow begs Inez to make inquires into her husband’s untimely death. As Inez digs deeper, she uncovers shady business dealings by those hoping to profit from the coming bonanza in medicinal waters and miracle remedies, medical practitioners who kindle false hopes in the desperate and the dying, and deception that predates the Civil War. Then Inez’s husband, Mark Stannert, reappears after a year-and-a-half unexplained absence.
Ann Parker is the author of the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series set in 1880s Colorado, featuring saloon-owner Inez Stannert. Books in the series include Silver Lies, Iron Ties, Leaden Skies and this, the latest, Mercury's Rise. A science writer by day, Ann lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
"A single page of Ann Parker’s Mercury's Rise reminds the reader why her novels are held in such high regard: her command of historical detail is matched only by her deft pacing and irresistible characters. Parker’s language is perfectly pitched, and the dialog sets the tone without ever jarring contemporary ears. In this latest installment, Parker puts series protagonist Inez Stannert in an impossible situation, then dials up the stakes, making for an un-put-down-able read. New characters intrigue and charm, and those returning –in one case, in a most unwelcome fashion– add their own complications to Inez’s plight. Her feistiness is underscored by unswerving courage and balanced by dignity, and it is impossible not to root passionately for this fiercely independent woman." —Sophie Littlefield, author of A Bad Day for Pretty and A Bad Day for Scandal
"A cliffhanger ending sets a promising stage for the next installment." —Publishers Weekly of Leaden Skies
Silver Lies was the winner of the Willa Cather Award for Historical Fiction and Colorado Gold Award for Best Mystery.
"A dazzling amount of historical detail is woven in yet never overpowers this story of deceit and greed. Laden with intrigue, this will also appeal to readers of historical Westerns. Parker’s depth of knowledge coupled with an all-too-human cast leaves us eager to see what Inez will do next. Encore!" —Library Journal of Mercury's Rise
"Parker smoothly mixes the personal dramas and the detection in an installment that’s an easy jumping-on point for newcomers." —Publisher's Weekly of Mercury's Rise