Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mercury's Rise

Ann Parker
Poisoned Pen Press
November 1, 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1590589632
$ 14.95
250 pages

Just when you feel that your life is coming together and settling down, who shows up? Of course, your deserting husband appears back in town wanting to get back together.

After hearing his story about what happened, Iris Stannert is extremely hesitant to go back to Mark Stannert. She already has a new man in her life and has succeeded in being part-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville, Colorado. For a woman in the summer of 1880 to achieve in this western town, this is rather amazing. However, it is not without a cost. For Iris, the cost was sending her five-month old son to live back East with her sister, Harmony.

Her immediate plan is to visit Manitou, Colorado where her sister will meet her with her son who she has not seen in over a year. Traveling by stage, Iris shares the carriage with the Pace family, a father, mother, nanny, and the three children. When Mr. Pace guzzles down his wife’s medicine, Iris is victimized by being vomited on as the man dies in front of her due to what appears to be a heart attack.

This makes an unusual relationship for Iris when Mrs. Pace asks for Inez to check into why her husband died. It just doesn’t make sense. He seemed perfectly healthy. Inez begins to suspects that these mineral springs and special tonics might not be healthy and realizes that she needs someone else to help her investigate, her husband.

Intertwining the death with the investigation of the health spas, as well as her personal issues with her son, sister, husband, and aunt make this an enthralling novel based on real historical events.

This story is a gripping mystery in this series by Ann Parker. Mercury’s Rise is the fourth this Silver Rush series featuring Iris Stannert following Silver Lies, Iron Ties, and Leaden Skies. Mercury’s Rise also works as a standalone novel with sufficient background knowledge of the previous novels without boring those who already know these characters.

Mercury’s Rise is a great historical fiction novel mixing real historical events and challenges with a personal attachment to the wonderful character, Iris Stannert.

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