What Gold Buys: A Silver Rush Mystery
Poisoned Pen, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
What Gold Buys
by Ann Parker, we return to 1880 in Leadville, Colorado. Inez Stannert has returned to Leadville after several months away. She is one of three partners in the Silver Queen Saloon. Her husband Mark and African-American Abe Jackson round out the ownership, each lending their own expertise to the enterprise.
Inez and her husband are in the middle of a hotly contested divorce. He has a roving eye and she is deeply in love with the local pastor, Justice Sands.
ortune hunters have rushed to Leadville with dreams of valuable silver just ready for the taking. All sorts of characters are looking to make their fortunes by conning others out of their new-found riches. Most residents live in tents or hastily and poorly constructed wooden houses.
ortune tellers work the crowds. One of them, Drina, is found dead in her tent, strangled by corset laces! Her daughter, twelve year-old Antonia, has been dressing as a boy in order to make money at jobs that would not be offered to a girl. Inez and Antonia meet and decide to ferret out who could have killed Drina and why.
he boomtown of Leadville is described so well, it is possible to envision slogging through the mud and ice and snow of the streets oneself. Characterizations bring the players to life. I have been to Leadville. Not much of a town today, but the stories and legends of its boom time linger whispering in the streets. The surrounding Rocky Mountains add mightily to the story line.
hat Gold Buys
is the fifth of this intriguing series. I look forward to the sixth.
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