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The Silver Rush Mystery Series

What Gold Buys Mercury's Rise Leaden Skies Iron Ties Silver Lies


What Gold Buys

What Gold Buys

Book 5

What Gold Buys
  • 2017 Lefty Award Nominee for Best Historical Mystery Novel
  • 2016 Sarton Women's Book Award (Historical Fiction) Finalist

"At last a new Silver Rush mystery from Ann Parker! And this one lives up to everything I've come to expect from one of the most authentic and evocative historical series around. Long live Inez!"
   —Rhys Bowen, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Royal Spyness and Molly Murphy Series

"Parker wraps up the mystery deftly but leaves Inez's future sufficiently unresolved so that readers will eagerly await the next installment."
   —Publishers Weekly starred review (read the full review)

"If you haven't heard of Ms. Parker or her work, now's the time to ante up and go all in."
   —B&N Reads (read the full review)

"Ann Parker's characters are always interesting and entertaining. Her historical depiction of daily life in the 1880s is spot-on, and the setting of her novels puts the reader right in the scene."
   —Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine

"What makes the Silver Rush books most interesting to those of us who live in Leadville is how Parker uses the town in each of her tales. Although there was never a Silver Queen Saloon at Harrison and State, the streets themselves are authentic, as are Tiger and Stillborn alleys, which also play a part in the story."
   —Herald Democrat (read the full article)

"Parker expertly captures the roughness of a mining town where saloon owners and brothel madams seek to separate prospectors from their money. Foppish drunken Englishmen, sinister undertakers, and reporters round out the cast of characters. Inez is a complex woman, and the comeuppance she delivers to Mark is so satisfying that I can't wait for the sixth in the series."
   —Historical Novels Review (read the full review)

“The boomtown of Leadville is described so well, it is possible to envision slogging through the mud and ice and snow of the streets oneself. Characterizations bring the players to life.... What Gold Buys is the fifth of this intriguing series. I look forward to the sixth.”
   —Bookloons (read the full review)

"Parker brings a mining boomtown to boisterous life—to the point where you can picture yourself amazed at the noise while dodging horse-drawn freight wagons and trying not to lose one of your boots in the mud... It is possible to read What Gold Buys without reading the rest of the books in the series, but don't be surprised if you find yourself tracking down the others."
   —Kittling: Books (read the full review)

"Stories that are more than one note are so much more interesting, and Parker has given us a full symphony.... What Gold Buys is an excellent historical mystery with a very exciting climax and an intriguing ending which leaves readers wanting to know what happens next."
   —It is purely my opinion, L.J. Roberts (read the full review)

"Like the tones and tans and grit of this story, the romance and suspense feel natural."
   —Martin Hill Oritz (read the full review)


Mercury's Rise

Mercury's Rise

Book 4

  • Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award Winner
  • Agatha Best Historical Mystery Award Finalist
  • Colorado Book Award Finalist
  • Willa Literary Award Finalist
  • "Recommended Read" of 2011: Colorado Country Life Magazine
  • "Favorite Read" in Western Mysteries: True West Magazine

"Engaging... Parker smoothly mixes the personal dramas and the detection in an installment that's an easy jumping-on point for newcomers. Fans of independent female sleuths like Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy and Laurie King's Mary Russell will be satisfied."
   —Publishers Weekly

"A dazzling amount of historical detail is woven in yet never overpowers this story of deceit and greed. Laden with intrigue, this will also appeal to readers of historical Westerns. Parker's depth of knowledge coupled with an all-too-human cast leaves us eager to see what Inez will do next. Encore!"
   —Library Journal

"Written in sharp prose, the characters are described with perception and wit.... Verdict: A charming novel of investigation, set in the eager world of 'Health Tourism' in 1880's America. Likeable heroine and a good recommendation for her other novels in the series."
   —Criminal History

"Fascinating, well researched, but never gets in the way of a slam-bang story. Good stuff."
   —Roundup Magazine

"Parker portrays a richly detailed world that describes a time when travel was an ordeal, not a luxury; health care utilized barbaric treatments with potions and practices that would horrify today's patients and doctors alike; and women's roles were strictly dictated by the men in their lives. This compelling historical mystery is a fascinating read."
   —Mystery Scene Magazine

"As is usual for Ann Parker, this is a lively tale with interesting characters, fun to read and inspiring the usual reader speculation about who's doing it."
   —Colorado Central Magazine

"...a terrific thriller that focuses on the quacks making a fortune selling cures for tuberculosis. The heroine's family hurts enhances the fullness of the protagonist while the intelligent inquiry into a wrongful death is clever. Ann Parker writes about a slice of unregulated Americana in which let the buyer beware capitalism greedily takes advantage of the desperate."
   —Midwest Book Review (read the full review)

"Deft pacing and irresistible characters... an un-put-down-able read."
   —Author Sophie Littlefield

"As fast-paced as a runaway buggy and has more twists and turns than a mountain trail."
   —Author Kate Emerson

"Mercury is poison, but Inez Stannert's latest adventure is pure gold."
   —Author Sarah Smith


Leaden Skies

Leaden Skies

Book 3

  • Colorado Book Award Finalist

"A twisty tale of murder and ambition.... Parker is proficient in showing the crossroads between civilization and the frontier, including emerging new roles for women. A cliffhanger ending sets a promising stage for the next installment."
   —Publishers Weekly

"Parker has created 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."
   —Booklist

"Leaden Skies is a fabulous post Reconstruction Era frontier thriller... Although the whodunit takes a back seat to one woman's struggle to remain economically independent in the late nineteenth century, Ann Parker writes a wonderful Americana tale."
   —The Mystery Gazette

"There are surprisingly few historical mysteries set in the American West. This is a highly enjoyable series, full of detail about its unusual setting, with an unconventional heroine to go with interesting stories filled with people you care about to help fill that void. Ann Parker has a straightforward, easy reading style, with this book noticeably more tightly written than the prior, to show that she also works hard at her craft. Recommended."
   —MyShelf.com

"...you're in for a treat... will hold a thriller-lover's interest if he or she can pull her mind away from Leadville's fascinating inhabitants and the wonderfully satisfying corkscrew mystery that drives Leaden Skies to a resounding and satisfying conclusion."
   —International Thriller Writers: The Big Thrill

"Good plot. Great characters. Really great setting. Along with prose that sets a scene with great care.... Leaden Skies is well worth a read; it's a hard one to put down."
   —BookLoons


Iron Ties

Iron Ties

Book 2

  • Colorado Book Award Winner
  • Arizona Book Award Honorable Mention

"Outstanding...Plenty of convincing action bodes well for a long and successful series."
   —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This sequel to the critically acclaimed Silver Ties (2003) will not disappoint Parker's fans. The characters have depth, their motivations are subtle, and their pain very human. Add carefully researched and fascinating period detail, and one has a well-crafted novel that will appeal to readers of mysteries, historical fiction, and genre westerns."
   —Booklist

"Iron Ties is a terrific Reconstruction Era mystery that provides the audience with a deep look at the period when official hostilities were over, but passions still flared into violence. The story line in many ways is more of a historical thriller though Inez's amateur sleuth investigation is deftly handled and the cast three dimensional. Ann Parker provides a delightful late nineteenth century Americana investigative tale."
   —Midwest Book Review

"...full of sharply etched characters set firmly in history and pulled along by a narrative engine as powerful as any of the locomotives getting ready in 1880 to connect Leadville to the outside world."
   —Crime Watch, The Chicago Tribune

"This novel is paced well and contains a wonderful array of charqacters. Inez is a fabulous character choice for an amateur detective: she is independent and can beat a man at a man's game. Parker pays great attention to historical detail, and Iron Ties is an excellent mystery. I have to read the first of the series now."
   —Historical Novels Review

"Fiction and fact are skillfully interwoven in Iron Ties, and I'm certain anyone who enjoys historical fiction—or good storytelling—will want to add Ann Parker to their list of favorite authors.... Iron Ties has so much going for it, I consider it a 'must read.'"
   —The Cozy Library


Silver Lies

Silver Lies

Book 1

  • "Best Mysteries of 2003"—Pick by Publishers Weekly and the Chicago Tribune
  • Willa Literary Award Winner
  • Colorado Gold Award Winner
  • Spur Award Finalist
  • Bruce Alexander Historical Award Finalist

"Excellent debut... Parker tells a gripping tale of love, greed and murder in the Old West, with a cast of convincing, larger-than-life characters... left enough loose ends to beckon readers to the next Leadville mystery."
   —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Parker is a science writer with a degree in literature and the ability to sum up in a few sharp sentences the tawdry power of a frontier boomtown like Leadville, where a sudden surge in silver could burnish everyone's dreams. Like the wonderful black-and-white photograph of historic Leadville on its cover (the credit for which admits, 'Image altered'), her first novel, which won a regional writing contest last year, combines a kind of gritty grandeur with a knowing wisdom about the way the present shapes our perceptions of the past."
   —Crime Watch, The Chicago Tribune

"Silver Lies is a good read for both mystery and history lovers.... Parker provides the clues to whodunit in an orderly manner. She adds some misdirection to keep readers guessing. And it is a book that keeps the reader's attention until the end."
   —The Independent

"Given that this is Ann Parker's first novel, I decidedly look forward to her second and third. Avoiding the stilted writing that's often typical of a first book, Parker has woven a story of lies, deceit, counterfeiting, murder, lust—you name it, Silver Lies has it."
   —BookLoons

"Ann Parker's Silver Lies has it all: greed, lust, deception, a 1879 Rocky Mountain boomtown setting, and a precious-metals assayer found murdered. It's a healthy mix of powerful characters and a realistic setting and circumstances, which just doesn't quit."
   —Midwest Book Review

"Silver Lies is a fast-paced, intriguing murder mystery... Parker's easy style makes the novel easily digestible, and the large cast of characters and numerous sub-plots make everyone a suspect and keep the 410-page novel interesting."
   —The Leadville Herald Democrat

"Silver Lies is a well-plotted, fun read. If at times the number of secondary characters seems to overwhelm the reader, Parker ultimately ties everything together neatly. Short, punchy sentences keep the action moving.... Silver Lies is her first novel, and one hopes not her last."
   —Broomfield Enterprise