Parker, Ann

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Parker, Ann


Married; children: two. Education: Graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.


Home—Bay Area of San Francisco, CA. E-mail—[email protected].




National Association of Science Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Historical Novel Society, Women Writing the West, and Western Writers of America.


Willa Award for Historical Fiction and the Colorado Gold Award, both for Silver Lies; Colorado Book Award for Popular Fiction for Iron Ties.


Silver Lies ("Silver Rush" mystery series), Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2003.

Iron Ties ("Silver Rush" mystery series), Poisoned Pen Press (Scottsdale, AZ), 2006.


Ann Parker is a longtime science writer who has also turned to writing mysteries set in Leadville, Colorado, during the silver-mining boom of the late 1800s. Although the author lives in California, she has strong ties to the West and Colorado, including a great-grandfather who worked as a blacksmith in Leadville and a grandmother who worked at the bindery of Leadville's Herald Democrat newspaper.

The first book in her "Silver Rush" mystery series, Silver Lies, introduces readers to Inez Stannert, who was called "a welcome addition to the genre" by a Publishers Weekly contributor. Inez has a dubious past that has led her to become co-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville after her husband abandons her. Inez knows that she can't take care of her child, so she sends her infant son to live with relatives back East while she runs the saloon with Abe Jackson, a free black man. Not surprisingly, people in town don't like the relationship. Nevertheless, the tough-talking Inez is not one to stand on decorum. However, she soon finds herself involved in the affairs of the late Joe Rose, a metals assayer who is found dead out back of Inez's saloon. In the process of getting the dead man's affairs in order, she ends up wrangling with a less-than-honest lawman and the local madam while becoming romantically involved with the new, handsome preacher. The Publishers Weekly contributor called Silver Lies "a gripping tale of love, greed and murder." Carroll Johnson, writing on, noted that the author "has done a wonderful job of immersing her readers in the messy reality of a Colorado mining town circa 1879," adding: "This book brings the cold, smelly, lawlessness and desperation of the boomtown to vivid life."

The next book in the series, Iron Ties, was called "outstanding" by a contributor to Publishers Weekly. Inez returns and is continuing her secret courtship with the Rev. Justice B. Sands while the town of Leadville is in an uproar over the railroad coming to town. Someone is sabotaging the railroad lines and a young photographer named Susan Carothers has inadvertently photographed a dynamite blast that ends up killing a man. Inez is Susan's friend and tries to find out exactly what Susan saw. In the meantime, Inez's partner at the saloon, Abe Jackson, has hired an acting duo to perform, and Inez soon realizes that the woman is someone from her past. Another subplot involves the town's preparations for a visit from Ulysses S. Grant. Booklist reviewer Wes Lukowsky noted the author's "carefully researched and fascinating period detail," adding that it makes for "a well-crafted novel." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "plenty of convincing action bodes well for a long and successful series."



Booklist, May 1, 2006, Wes Lukowsky, review of Iron Ties, p. 38.

Publishers Weekly, August 18, 2003, review of Silver Lies, p. 61; November 17, 2003, review of Silver Lies, p. 28; April 24, 2006, review of Iron Ties, p. 41.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), October 12, 2003, review of Silver Lies, p. 2.


Ann Parker Home Page, (February 23, 2008)., February 23, 2008), Carroll Johnson, review of Silver Lies., (February 23, 2008), brief discussion of Silver Lies.

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