SILVER LIES (Historical-Colorado-1879) – VG+
Parker, Ann – 1st in series
Poisoned Pen Press, 2003
Inez Stannert lives in Leadville, Colorado at the height of the silver boom. She shoots, plays poker, owns a salon along with her partner Abe, a free black man, and has a husband who has been missing for eight months. When local assay-agent Joe Ross is found dead in the alley next to Inez' saloon, she promises to help his pregnant widow and son settle Joe's business interests. What she finds are secrets, greed, graft, danger and an attraction to J.B Sands, a minister—or is he?
Parker has written a wonderful first book. Her descriptions of 1870's Leadville are vivid and integral to the story. Her characters are diverse, real, interesting and fully developed. Inez is a smart, independent woman, capable of holding her own yet will doubts and insecurities of her own. Her dialogue is appropriate to the period. The plot is interesting and compelling; it caused me to read way too late into the night in order to finish it in one read. There is a romance, but it doesn't overwhelm the story or the character and very good suspense. I highly recommend this book.