Forge, Sept 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
In 1880 Leadville, Colorado is booming thanks to the vein of silver being taken out of the Eye Dazzler Mine. Lucinda Ridenour, the owner of the mine, is keeping her young lover in luxurious style indulging in all kinds of debauched pleasures including drugs and the strong liquor absinthe. The last night Kit Randall spends in his lover's home, he has some hallucinations that scare him because he thinks they may be based in reality.
A spiteful Lucinda claims that he stole some items from her before leaving but he is able to talk the police out of arresting him. When his Uncle Brad and his fiancÚ come to town, they help him hide from the law when Lucinda is murdered. When Brad returns to Washington DC, Eden stays behind to find a way of clearing his name, even if that means figuring out who the real killer is.
THE SECOND GLASS OF ABSINTHE is an exciting amateur sleuth tale that will appeal to fans of romances and westerns as much and those who love historical mysteries will value the tale. Michelle Black is a gifted storyteller whose stark prose and compelling characters draw the reader into the heart of the story line. The mystery is well constructed and there is a plethora of suspects who had every reason to see the widow dead including her own son. Characters from other works of Michelle Black make an appearance giving the audience a feeling of continuity.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner