In the summer of 1880, many people are traveling to the booming health resort of Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pike’s Peak, to “chase the cure” for tuberculosis. But Inez Stannert, partowner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville, travels for a different reason to this town renowned for its mineral springs and scenery. After a long separation, she’s reuniting with her young son, William, and her beloved sister, Harmony. However, the stagecoach journey to Manitou turns deadly 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 posh Mountain Springs House hotel, Pace’s widow begs Inez to make inquiries into her husband’s untimely death. As Inez digs deeper, she uncovers shady business dealings by people hoping to profit from the coming bonanza in medicinal waters and miracle remedies and who kindle false hopes in the desperate and the dying—a deception that predates the Civil War. But there is no miracle cure for murder.
Pace’s sudden demise is not the only event that tarnishes Inez’s hopes of a happy reunion with her son and sister. Inez’s husband, Mark Stannert, has reappeared after a year-and-a-half absence, after Inez has made other plans for her future. Now Inez fears whether she will be able to hold on to her child and the life she has built for herself.
“A dazzling amount of historical detail is woven in yet never overpowers this story of deceit and greed…Parker’s depth of knowledge coupled with an all-too-human cast leaves us eager to see what Inez will do next. Encore!” (Library Journal)
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