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Reviewed by Rachel A. Hyde

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.

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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