cover image Mercury’s Rise: 
A Silver Rush Mystery

Mercury’s Rise: A Silver Rush Mystery

Ann Parker. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (378p) ISBN 978-1-59058-963-2

Set in the summer of 1880, Parker’s engaging fourth historical featuring saloon owner Inez Stannert (after 2009’s Leaden Skies) finds Inez riding a stagecoach from Leadville, Colo., to the town of Manitou, where her two-year-old son, William, has been cared for by her sister, Harmony DuChamps. The bumpy trip takes a fatal turn when a fellow passenger, businessman Edward Pace, keels over after imbibing a medicinal tonic. Inez’s awkward reunion with William, who doesn’t recognize her and is known by her sister’s married name, naturally preoccupies her at first, but she soon finds herself investigating Pace’s death and its possible connection with Manitou’s Mountain Springs House spa, where she’s a guest. Parker smoothly mixes the personal dramas and the detection in an installment that’s an easy jumping-on point for newcomers. Fans of independent female sleuths like Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy and Laurie King’s Mary Russell will be satisfied. (Nov.)