Friday, November 11, 2011
by Jean Henry Mead
Mercury’s Rise is the best historical mystery I’ve read this year. Set in the early 1880s in Manatou, Colorado, it’s the fourth novel in Ann Parker’s Silver Rush series; featuring Inez Stannert, whose husband Mark disappeared before the first novel, leaving her with a baby as well as a saloon to run.
In Mercury’s Rise, Inez travels by stagecoach to Manitou, a health resort, to meet her sister, who’s been caring for Inez’s son. When one of the passengers, with his family aboard, dies during the trip after drinking his wife’s tonic, Inez is determined to discover who and what killed him. And why. More bodies turn up at the health resort, including a man attempting to uncover the truth about his brother’s death.
Suave and charming, he arrives on the next train and attempts to woo her back to their marriage. But his reason for disappearing for more than a year doesn’t set well with Inez and she holds him at arm’s length.
The plot is cleverly woven and beautifully written, leaving the reader wanting more. The author lives in San Francisco and makes occasional trips to Colorado, but her research is impeccable. This is one historical mystery that I highly recommend.