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Silver Lies: A Silver Rush Mystery #1 (Silver Rush Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Parker
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As 1879 draws to a close, this Rocky Mountain boomtown has infected the world with silver fever. Joe Rose, a precious-metals assayer, was found trampled into the muck behind Inez Stannert's saloon. A lady educated on the East Coast, Inez has a past that doesn't bear close scrutiny, including her elopement with a gambling man who has recently disappeared.

Most townsfolk, including Inez's business partner, Abe Jackson, dismiss Joe's death as an accident. But Inez wonders: Why was this loving husband and father carrying a brass token good for "one free screw" at the parlor house of Denver madam Mattie Silks?

When Joe's widow Emma asks Inez to settle Joe's affairs, almost against her will, Inez uncovers skewed assays, bogus greenbacks, and blackmail.

"...excellent debut..."--Publishers Weekly


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Meet Inez Stannert, the poker-playing, straight-talking, gun-toting owner of the Silver Queen Saloon and the heroine of Parker's excellent debut, set in wintry Leadville, Colo., during the 1879 silver boom. Inez is married, yet her husband disappeared six months earlier with nary a trace. Her partner at the saloon, Abe Jackson, happens to be a free black man, to the dismay of much of Leadville's uptight and prejudiced populace. When a frozen corpse turns up in the mucky alley behind the saloon, Inez and Abe, still reeling from the damage caused by a barroom brawl, are shocked to learn it's their friend, precious-metals assayer Joe Rose. Joe, it seems, had a gambling problem and a nasty secret. His death puts Inez and Abe at odds with a crooked lawman, an infamous madam, a spurned suitor and the mysterious stranger who rides into town as the new minister. Drawing on historic facts and figures of 1870s Colorado, Parker tells a gripping tale of love, greed and murder in the Old West, with a cast of convincing, larger-than-life characters, including a brief appearance from Bat Masterson himself. Inez is a woman well ahead of her time and a welcome addition to the genre, as is Parker, who has left enough loose ends to beckon readers to the next Leadville mystery.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

''Combines a kind of gritty grandeur with a knowing wisdom about the way the present shapes our perceptions of the past.'' --Chicago Tribune

''Meet Inez Stannert, the poker-playing, straight-talking, gun-toting owner of the Silver Queen Saloon and the heroine of Parker's excellent debut . . . Drawing on historic facts and figures of 1870s Colorado, Parker tells a gripping tale of love, greed, and murder in the Old West, with a cast of convincing, larger-than-life characters, including a brief appearance from Bat Masterson himself. Inez is a woman well ahead of her time and a welcome addition to the genre, as is Parker, who has left enough loose ends to beckon readers to the next Leadville mystery.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

''Silver Lies is a tale of greed, lust, and deception set in Leadville in its heyday, when men -- and not a few women -- stopped at nothing, not even murder, to strike it rich. Ann Parker gets is just right, and the result is a terrific debut novel.'' --Margaret Coel, American historian and mystery writer

''Meet Inez Stannert, the poker-playing, straight-talking, gun-toting owner of the Silver Queen Saloon and the heroine of Parker's excellent debut . . . Drawing on historic facts and figures of 1870s Colorado, Parker tells a gripping tale of love, greed, and murder in the Old West, with a cast of convincing, larger-than-life characters, including a brief appearance from Bat Masterson himself. Inez is a woman well ahead of her time and a welcome addition to the genre, as is Parker, who has left enough loose ends to beckon readers to the next Leadville mystery.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

''Silver Lies is a tale of greed, lust, and deception set in Leadville in its heyday, when men -- and not a few women -- stopped at nothing, not even murder, to strike it rich. Ann Parker gets is just right, and the result is a terrific debut novel.'' --Margaret Coel, American historian and mystery writer

Product Details

  • File Size: 623 KB
  • Print Length: 425 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590580729
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; United States ed edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015A67BK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,064 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parker's Lying Silver Pen July 26, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Leadville at its pinnacle is no comparison to pistol-packing, hard-drinking, poker-playing Inez Stannert, proprietor of the Silver Queen Saloon, widow (or is she?) of a one-time counterfeiter. The local assayer is murdered in the street outside her saloon, leaving a widow-friend penniless with a child. Inez vows to do what she can. First up, find out who killed Joe, then unravel his affairs. But that can be treacherous, bad for the health. Counterfeits show up, and only some of them are money. What's real? Who's real? Who's leaving stabbed rats as threats?

Ann Parker's mystery kept me guessing throughout the book. Great plotting and good execution. A few more characters could have been more fully drawn, but Inez comes through Parker's pen full, rounded and engaging. I look forward to more books in this series.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Historical Mystery January 1, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Murder and mayhem in the old west! A great fireside book on a winters day. Ann Parker's extensive research created a setting so vivid I almost wanted to order a sasparilla. Great characters, teriffic plot and fast paced mystery. What more can you ask of a writer? I hope this is the beginning of a series. Inez is a great example of a frontier woman facing more than the elements.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Beautifully Written January 18, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Ann Parker's innate talent as a gripping storyteller, combined with beautifully rendered prose makes her one of the truly gifted writers of our time.
"Silver Lies" will transport you back to the old west, and the glory days of the silver rush. Parker's deft hand paints you into a story where you'll fall in love with Inez Stannert and the world she navigates with skill. But don't be fooled, for where there's immense fortunes to be had, drink to be consumed, and greedy gamblers packing heat, there's also lying, cheating, maiming and murder.
Get comfortable and plan to stay up late!! Then join the crowd of fans all waiting to savor her next page-turning mystery.
Kathleen Antrim, Author of "Capital Offense"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silver stories August 29, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This author appeared at my local bookstore a month ago and I missed her. She was signing her new book and since I live in Colorado and love Colorado stories, thought I'd start from the beginning. It was a rather slow read in the beginning, but picked up somewhere in the middle. Lots of great characters and the protagonist is saucy, bold and a delight. I'm anxious to read her next book, Iron Ties. I highly recommend this book and author.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cut above October 15, 2006
Format:Paperback
Last month I was in Leadville, a town I love to visit when I get to Colorado. I'm afraid it's going to be Starbucked soon, but so far it still has its faded glory charm. I stopped in The Bookmine, and the proprietor recommended Ann Parker. I've had some bum steers with 'local' authors, so only bought Silver Lies. At first the dialogue seemed a little clunky, but soon the rip-roaring plot, with multiple layers and twists and turns, took over. One of the best debut mysteries I've read. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars United States, Colorado - 1879 July 14, 2009
Format:Paperback
One easily could imagine a film based on Inez Stannart, saloon keeper in the booming silver mining town of Leadville, Colorado, and on her often disreputable, rowdy, get rich quick peers, including the powerful owners of the large mines who consider "integrity and honesty as liabilities" in their race to seize wealth. The town is perfect too. Although Leadville has pretensions of grandeur with its new opera house and soon to be built train connection direct to Denver, Parker illustrates a typical mining town, existing only because of silver. The story takes place in blood numbing winter. Leadville's mountain streets are mud, made slushy with snow, its buildings are hastily constructed wood structures, its sanitation mostly nonexistent.

Most of the workers are men who labor underground or in the smelters. Some try their luck on their own, seeking the vein which will bring them wealth. Exodusters, dirt farmers from the South driven West to seek employment, show up as do the women who work as independent photographers, cooks, laundresses, or as "brightly dressed denizens" in Leadville's multiple houses of prostitution. Social distinctions and antagonisms naturally exist between the latter and the wives who have "halfheartedly followed husbands struck by gold or silver fever."

As the title suggests, many in the town hide their true identities and pasts behind lies. The story's revelations of truths provide a plot full of dramatic twists and turns. With the mysterious disappearance of her gambling husband, Inez must depend on the fortunes of her saloon and the steadfast support of her African American business partner, Abe Jackson. Complications arise with the murder of a friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a western mystery. August 1, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
On street level, this is a straightforward western morality play, with forces of evil arrayed against forces of good, hard pressed to survive. But across the street is a mystery as well. As the executor of a slain man's estate, Inez Stannert struggles to put the lose ends together for his widow, even as she struggles with the lose ends of her own life. Clues abound, and the solution to one puzzle reveals yet another. Western history buffs will not be disappointed in the unsparing attention to details from chamber pots to Bat Masterson. Moviegoers might imagine roles for Lauren Bacall, Morgan Freeman, and Harrison Ford.

But that's just street level in the town of Leadville, and what happens in the rooms above is just as important. Images abound. Start with the fortune of a shattered mirror. Assumptions, rodents, and people are turned inside out and occasionally back again. As the battle of good versus evil is painted, the devil's face is penciled in; but is it the right one? Angels go armed. The key to one mystery unlocks a key to another. Hell freezes over, paradise has lost its way, and your nominal spiritual guide speaks of black, white, and gray. Along the journey, we are invited to think. So think about prejudice, think about the desperation of the poor, think about honesty, think about slavery old and new, think about the consequences of passion, think about justice, think about public sanitation, and think about the eternal trade-off of freedom versus order. The ancestors of our institutions and pretensions play a role in this messy, high-altitude 1880's boom town and none escape without a little horse manure on them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting; different; transports you back in time
Takes place in 1879 in a Rocky Mountain boomtown; main character is Inez, part-owner of a saloon whose husband has disappeared; you always feel that you are in 1879; not all things... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by consumerinaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Product as advertised and prompt delivery!
Published 10 days ago by Geo
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to cozy up with in the winter!
I enjoyed this book and the storyline. There are a lot of twists and turns which kept me wanting to know more. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Cynthia Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very fast read. Enjoyable
Published 1 month ago by Gail Vannest
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Qiute a good read...I was totally taken with the story
Published 2 months ago by rudeen
5.0 out of 5 stars but a very good book.
A couple vulgar words, but a very good book.
Published 3 months ago by sanbart
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great reading, lots of history included.
Published 3 months ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars A fair period piece
It is quaint and the setting description is vivid. The plot seems to drag a little bit, this is probably the romance element which will appeal to some. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Geoffrey Pickens
3.0 out of 5 stars okay storyline
fast read
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best I've Read
This story knocked my socks off. The characters were so real and believable. The story is gritty and hard to read at times, because of that reality. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barbara A Martin
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More About the Author

Ann Parker earned degrees in Physics and English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, before falling into a career as a science/corporate writer 30 years ago. During the daylight hours, she scribbles about solar energy technology, chilled beam systems, "human capital" strategies, and enterprise business solutions for legal firms. At night, she delves into the past.

Her award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series is set in the 1880s silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, and features Silver Queen Saloon owner Inez Stannert--a woman with a mysterious past, a complicated present, and an uncertain future. The first in the series, Silver Lies, won the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction and the Colorado Gold Award and was a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award as well as for the Western Writers Association Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. It was chosen a best mystery of the year by Publishers Weekly and The Chicago Tribune.

Iron Ties, the sequel to Silver Lies, won the Colorado Book Award (CBA) for Popular Fiction. In its starred review, Publishers Weekly says, "Parker's outstanding second Silver Rush mystery finds her heroine, Inez Stannert, corset-deep in the intrigues of Leadville, Colo. . . . Plenty of convincing action bodes well for a long and successful series."

Leaden Skies, the third Silver Rush mystery, was a CBA finalist. Booklist calls it "a lively historical tale with a strong female protagonist. The intricate plot, lively characters, and vividly realized historical landscape will appeal to those interested in the Old West as well as to historical-mystery fans."

Mercury's Rise, fourth in the series, is winner of the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award, and finalist for: the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery, the Colorado Book Award (Genre Fiction), the Macavity / Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery Award, and the Willa Literary Award for Best Historical Fiction. About Mercury's Rise, Library Journal says: "Encore!"

For more information, see http://www.annparker.net.


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