Mercury's Rise (Silver Rush Mysteries)
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"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 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 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 posh Mountain Springs House hotel, Pace's widow begs Inez to make inquires into her husband's untimely death. As Inez digs deeper, she uncovers shady business dealings of 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. 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. Even as she fights to hold on to her child and the life she has built for herself, Inez comes to realize there is no "cure" for murder....
Mark settled Inez’s cloak back about her shoulders. The Stannerts were outside the infamous room of two-aught-eight, preparing to leave. They had said their goodbyes to the Brits who were still standing. Of the original six, three had dropped away as the darkest hours of the night ticked by, victims of waning funds and indiscriminate drinking. The various bottles had emptied, only to be replaced by full ones, which emptied again, and were again replaced. It was like the cycle of an hour-glass,
each and every surgery and amputation. I whispered the words he was to use, told him what treatments to apply. In this way, I was able to stay in the unit with him and assist in the operations, be an equal of the other men, looked up to for my abilities. Until Galloway.” Her hand shook, then steadied. “But that won’t happen again. Now, we have a second chance. I know he will listen to me when I explain the situation, show him the opportunity. He owes me that much. I gave up my life for him, and
underlying weakness. I must see Mr. Travers now. Nurse Crowson said he is coughing blood again. She has been wheeling him about the garden for the past hour. Do you want a man’s life on your hands for the sake of another who has already met his Maker, thanks to the vagaries of age and the unfortunate twists of circumstances?” “Whoa, hold your horses, Doc,” said the marshal. “Mrs. Stannert was the last person in the coach. We’re done here. You can return to your patients, and sorry for the
room, she waited by the window. A few agonizing minutes ticked by. Finally, she saw his lean figure appear on the boardwalk below and, with that unfamiliar limp, cross the street to the Clairmont Hotel. Inez paced from one end of the modest room to the other, trying to calm herself. She thought of all the plans she had put into motion, with the expectation that her husband was dead or, at least, not returning. Her plans to obtain an uncontested divorce from an absentee husband. Her ever-closer
symbolize medicine, hygiene, and healing. Anyway, he told Mrs. Underwood that if she wanted him in a tableau, it would have to be a scene of his choosing. She agreed, saying that as long as it was classical in nature, she would go along with it.” “I just had no idea he would pick something so obscure.” Aunt Agnes’ voice sounded nearly in Inez’s ear. She moved between Susan and Inez, threading her arms through both of theirs. “I had hoped Dr. Prochazka would pose as Zeus or Poseidon. I thought