BookLoons

By Mary Ann Smyth

Good news. Ann Parker is back with a new novel for fans of her series featuring Inez Stannert. I, for one, am glad. I like Inez, who goes on with life no matter what bad stuff it throws in her path. Her cardshark husband has left her in the boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, in the year 1880. Not a good time or place for a woman to be alone in the world with a small child to raise on her own.

Inez is part owner – at least she thinks and hopes she is – of a saloon. The fine legal points might prove her wrong. It's tough being a woman at that point in history. No vote for one thing. And Inez is not recognized in polite society because she runs a saloon. Which doesn't really bother her. More pressing issues fill her head. A plus in her life is her affair with the Reverend Justice Sands.

A woman is killed at a local house of ill repute. Zelda, trying to better her lot in life, is accused of the crime and is on the run. Inez to the rescue. She works on discovering how Zelda could be found in a locked room with a dead woman and not be guilty of slitting that woman's throat.

Good plot. Great characters. Really great setting. Along with prose that sets a scene with great care. I could almost feel the mud squelch around my boots; hear the hubbub from men drinking in the saloon; stare in horror as a building goes up in flames; and take in the many smells, good and bad, that would fill the air in a town such as Leadville. Reading, I almost felt as though I had lived in that time.

General and ex-president U. S. Grant makes a brief appearance, giving the man a human face, not just a historical one. Leaden Skies is well worth a read; it's a hard one to put down.

Additional Reviews

Reviews for Leaden Skies:

Publisher's Weekly
Booklist
The Mystery Gazette
Reader Views
International Thriller Writers: The Big Thrill
MyShelf.com

BookLoons
Midwest Book Review
Oakland Tribune
The Leadville Herald Democrat

Reviews for Iron Ties:

Publisher's Weekly
Booklist
Midwest Book Review
Crime Watch - Chicago Tribune
I love a Mystery
The BookBitch
Bookloons

The Cozy Library
MyShelf.com
Historical Novels Review

Reviews
for Silver Lies:

Crime Watch
Publisher's Weekly
The Daily Camera
BookLoons
Reviewlets
The Drood Review of Mystery
The Leadville Herald Democrat
MyShelf.com
I love a Mystery
Quincy Public Library
January Magazine
The Best Reviews
The Independent
Broomfield Enterprise

Women in World History Curriculum