cover image Mortal Music: A Silver Rush Mystery

Mortal Music: A Silver Rush Mystery

Ann Parker. Poisoned Pen, $26.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4926-9947-7

It’s late December 1881 in Parker’s skillfully crafted seventh Silver Rush mystery (after 2018’s A Dying Note) when renowned opera singer Theia Carrington Drake summarily fires her accompanist and asks Inez Stannert, the co-owner of San Francisco’s D & S House of Music and Curiosities, to replace him for the few remaining year-end performances. Inez agrees, but soon after she begins playing piano for Theia, she witnesses the discovery of the crushed body of Theia’s pet songbird tucked into the slashed remains of the diva’s shimmering performance gown. Then Theia’s faithful maid disappears, and Julia Green, Theia’s understudy and protégée, is found dead. Unlike the police, Inez doesn’t believe for an instant that the young woman committed suicide. As New Year’s Eve approaches, Inez races to uncover the truth about the crimes and the secrets that hold Theia’s fragile world together. Richly nuanced period details and vivid characters enhance a plot that takes some surprising turns. The ambiguous ending will leave readers wondering what the future holds for astute, resourceful Inez. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Assoc. (Jan.)