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Iron Ties
A Silver Rush Mystery #2

by Ann Parker

      Three years after Ann Parker's debut novel Silver Lies, here is the long-awaited sequel. No longer just another frontier town, Leadville is booming and the railroad is coming. Photographer Susan Carothers is out taking photographs of this exciting new innovation when she witnesses what appears to be a murder. But when an explosion buries her and she is taken to hospital her story is dismissed as delirium. Her friend saloon owner Ines Stannert is not so sure - didn't she hear a general mentioned, and isn't General Grant himself coming to town to celebrate the railroad's opening? Maybe the Civil War is not so long ago after all...

I grew up in a family that loved westerns, so reading one is always a treat. Here is a fascinating glimpse into the heyday of this mountain city complete with saloons, cardsharps, gunfights, civil war veterans and the dawn of the railroad age. The West as a frontier is on the verge of becoming history, but it is hard not to be caught up in the excitement of a time when so much was new and exciting. It was this that drew my attention and kept the pages turning rather than the story, which moves at a rather desultory pace more akin to a mule with a heavy wagon than a speeding stagecoach. As with Silver Lies, this is not really a book that needs its 400+ pages, and tends to sag rather when there is nothing new and old ground is being re-trodden to no useful purpose. This aside, the leading characters were well-drawn and absorbing in the first book and continue to be so, people with long pasts whatever their age and multi-faceted personalities. Maybe they - and the thrilling city of Leadville - might be reappearing in another (slightly shorter) book rather sooner than three years hence.

Reviews of other titles in the Silver Rush series

Silver Lies #1  [review]
Iron Ties #2  
Leaden Skies #3  [review]
Mercury's Rise #4   
[review 1] [review 2]
What Gold Buys [
A Dying Note #6


The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
June 2006
Historical Mystery [1880, Leadville, Colorado]

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006