Leaden Skies by Ann Parker

skiesReviewed by Terri Davis

Anytime a former President visits any place, there certainly is disruption into the normal life of the community. Former President Grant visiting Leadville, Colorado definitely livened up this boomtown. Imagine the streets with the crowds of people who waited through rain and now into the steamy heat for the experience to actually see a president. However, in 1880, the streets are dirt and after the rain, now it is mud.

Inez Stannert has a unique situation in that she is part owner/manager of the Silver Queen Saloon. Missing from her life is her husband who has disappeared over a year ago. Inez is ready to move on with her life. Being that the environment is not nurturing, she consented to having her sister raise her son back east. While fighting the loneliness, she finds the love of her life with a minister for this community. Walking the fine line between not drawing the attention of the town from her position or the minister’s position, makes life interesting for her.

Adding to this is Inez’s desire to become financially independent and she agrees to a partnership with a local madam of an upscale brothel. Almost as soon as the agreement is made, one of the women from the brothel is murdered. A man is arrested for the crime and also arrested is the madam for the attack upon the police. Now, Inez is regretting her investment but also feels obligated to assist with the brothel. Things are seldom as they seem and she finds herself investigating the murder and other developments so much that it is difficult for her to work at saloon.

The characters are believable, including their faults, values as well as their natural gifts. What I enjoyed the most was the internal drive of some of the characters for a better life. Also, discovering the personal secrets or hidden skeletons in their closets, made this novel a true page turner. It’s difficult to fully understand living in a different time period when without the personal experience. Ann Parker is extremely successful in transporting the reader to the time of 1880 and the place of Leadville, Colorado.

LEADEN SKIES is the third book in the Silver Rush Mystery series following SILVER LIES and IRON TIES. However, the book is also successful as a standalone without the knowledge of the characters in the previous books. The hook at the end, will definitely catch any reader into anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.

Ann Parker studied Physics and English Literature which makes her uniquely qualified to truly understand the situation of the blend of the historical mining community with the scientific value of the minerals of this area. She truly has an insight into the people during this era.

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