The railroad is coming to Leadville and its rich Rocky Mountain mines. And who is coming to celebrate its arrival but Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the U.S. and former commander of the Union armies. Like other residents in the Colorado boomtown this summer of 1880, Inez Stannert regards the news as mixed. Some folks have wicked memories of the war, others have a stake in the competing railroad lines. And photographer Susan Carothers, Inez's friend, is caught in the deadly crossfire.. Iron Ties is Ann Parker's second novel, following Silver Lies, winner of the Willa (Cather) Literary Award for Historical Fiction, the Colorado Gold Award, and finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award and the Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. www.annparker.net
Set in the summer of 1880, Parker's outstanding second Silver Rush mystery (after 2003's Silver Lies) finds her heroine, Inez Stannert, corset-deep in the intrigues of Leadville, Colo. Inez's secret courtship with the Rev. Justice B. Sands is as heated as the conflict over the incoming railroad. When the local authorities question the reliability of Inez's friend, photographer Susan Carothers, who witnesses a shooting and explosion along the rail line, it's up to Inez to discover the truth. In one of the many nice twists in this appealing adventure, the attractive railroad man Inez meets during her investigation turns out to be one of the good reverend's Civil War comrades. In an effort to increase business at the Silver Queen saloon, Inez's business partner, Abe Jackson, engages an acting couple to perform. None too happily, Inez realizes why the beautiful actress seems so familiar. A ragged piece of cloth becomes a major clue as the clock ticks and the town readies for a visit from former U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant. Plenty of convincing action bodes well for a long and successful series.