As 1879 draws to a close, this Rocky Mountain boomtown has infected the world with silver fever. Joe Rose, a precious-metals assayer, was found trampled into the muck behind Inez Stannert's saloon. A lady educated on the East Coast, Inez has a past that doesn't bear close scrutiny, including her elopement with a gambling man who has recently disappeared.
Most townsfolk, including Inez's business partner, Abe Jackson, dismiss Joe's death as an accident. But Inez wonders: Why was this loving husband and father carrying a brass token good for "one free screw" at the parlor house of Denver madam Mattie Silks?
When Joe's widow Emma asks Inez to settle Joe's affairs, almost against her will, Inez uncovers skewed assays, bogus greenbacks, and blackmail.
"...excellent debut..."--Publishers Weekly
It happened in Silicon Valley, in Sutter's Mill, and in Leadville. They all came to Leadville with the same purpose: get in, get rich, and get out. As 1879 is drawing to a close, this Rocky Mountain boom town has infected the world with silver fever. Investors, confidence men, merchants, miners, all flock to Leadville looking for the next strike. Women join the rush as well - and among them, is saloon owner Inez Stannert. When a prominent mining assayer is found trampled behind her establishment, she's determined to unravel the mystery of his death. Her search takes her from the mines and banks of Leadville to the exclusive parlour houses of Denver. Along the way, she finds that lies and secrets run deep in Colorado and many will stop at nothing to get rich.