It's clear that Quaver’s a pro at spinning elaborate stories with vibrant characters. As Elly and Jimmy settle into Cripple Creek, they move in with a family that has connections to Liddie—and shocking news for Jimmy about his sister’s disappearance. Elly quickly gets a job playing piano at a dance hall, while Jimmy falls for Sara, a local girl forced into prostitution to make ends meet. When Elly meets Lucas, a quiet but talented hand at the town’s machine shop, the two build a connection that opens up new experiences for her. But when Elly and Jimmy find themselves embroiled in the aftermath of a tragedy committed by a mysterious coal miner years earlier, Elly suspects the mystery is more complicated than she originally anticipated—and when their newfound friends seem to be involved, she’s more determined than ever to solve it.
Though this is the second installment, readers new to the series will easily be drawn into the story and feel an immediate connection to Quaver’s characters. The narrative teems with mystery, action, and romance, and the ending leaves space for future exploits with Elly and Jimmy. Readers with a hankering for spirited adventure will be pleased.
Takeaway: Rousing historical fiction featuring mystery, romance, and thrilling adventures.
Comparable Titles: Kathleen Karr’s The Great Turkey Walk, Vera Cleaver and Bill Cleaver’s Where the Lilies Bloom.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A