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Mercury's Rise
by
 
Ann Parker

In summer 1880, many come to the fast-rising health resort of Manitou, Colorado, at the foot of Pike's Peak to "chase the cure" for tuberculosis.
But Inez Stannert, part-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville, travels for a different reason. After a long separation, she's reuniting with her young son, William, and her beloved sister, Harmony. However, the stagecoach journey to Manitou turns lethal when East Coast businessman Edward Pace mysteriously dies under the horrified gaze of Inez and Pace's wife and children. After they arrive at the hotel, Pace's widow begs Inez to make inquires into her husband's untimely death. As Inez digs deeper, she uncovers shady business dealings by those hoping to profit from the coming bonanza in medicinal waters and miracle remedies, medical practitioners who kindle false hopes in the desperate and the dying, and deception that predates the Civil War. Then Inez's husband, Mark Stannert, reappears after a year-and-a-half unexplained absence.