Women in World History Curriculum

Silver Lies
by Ann Parker

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. Inez’s attempts to uncover the reason for his unlikely death reveals secrets which put her life in jeopardy as well. Her perilous explorations are lightened only by the romantic tension between herself and the newly arrived Reverend Sands.

Parker’s Author’s Note gives solid historical information about Leadville, including which events are real and when Bat Masterson in fact appeared in town. The book’s extensive back stories, however, often intrude on the narrative flow. Given their length, and with a little mystery thrown in, they could be the first book in an Inez Stannart series. Silver Lies is presently Parker’s only book.

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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