“Thegreat questions of the time are not decided by speeches and majority decisions…butby iron and blood.”—Otto von Bismarck, 1862
Summer1880. The railroad is coming west, all the way to Leadville, Colorado, and itsrich Rocky Mountain mines—and millionaires. Coming to celebrate the arrival ofthe Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is a former president, none other than UlyssesS. Grant, eighteenth president of the United States and commander of the Unionarmies during the Civil War.
Butnot everyone wants to celebrate the arrival of the railroad. Inez Stannert, likeother residents in the Colorado boomtown, regards the news with mixed feelings.Her business partnership in the Silver Queen Saloon is still shaky and thebonds of family still tenuous, with her husband missing and her son living back east. Inez doesn’t want to see lawlessness escalate and lead, onceagain, to murder.
Inezisn’t the only one with iron ties to the past. Some folks have wicked memoriesof the Civil War, and others a stake in the competing railroad lines. Caughtin the crossfire is Inez’s friend, photographer Susan Carothers. An explosionthat nearly killed Susan has killed another—or could it have been murder? It’s up to Inez to investigate.