It’s 1880 and Ulysses S. Grant is visiting Leadville, Colorado, with an entourage of hangers-on, among them John Quincy Adams Wesley, a wet-behind-the-ears political up and comer. Against the distraction of the Grant visit, a mysterious fire rages in the bordello. The next day a prostitute is found, apparently murdered, shortly after Inez Stannert, co-owner of the Silver Queen saloon, becomes caught up as a silent partner in Frisco Flo’s new, uptown brothel.
Leaden Skies is the third in the Silver Rush Mystery series. In this adventure, Inez tries to move her life forward by divorcing her husband, Mark, who abandoned her. Not that this will necessarily make life easier for her lover, the honorable Reverend Sands, but it may allow her to reclaim her young son.
It’s great to see Ann Parker’s Leadville characters back in the latest series installment! While Inez is still able to run a man’s business and command respect in a frontier town, she isn’t satisfied to remain where she is indefinitely, nor is she able to walk away from the challenge of a mystery.
As always, Parker’s settings feel true to their time, right down to the rain-muddied streets. This installment features an intriguing cast of characters that will keep the reader guessing. A wonderful book for a lazy summer weekend.