Friday, September 6, 2013


By Vicki Delany
Poisoned Pen Press

This is the sixth outing for Const. Molly Smith of the Trafalgar Police Service in B.C. In many ways, Molly’s still learning her job while in others, she’s yearning for much more. Policing suits her well and she’s morphed over the series from an awkward newbie to an officer who is more restrained, questioning more, and therefore, a better cop.

A lot of this is thanks to Sgt. John Winters who sees her potential and unofficially mentors her on the job. This case is no different. Winters is faced with a baffling murder, that of high-school teacher Cathy Lindsay, wife and mother of two, whose body is found with a bullet in the back, on a trail one morning during March break.

As is the procedure in most murder cases, the marriage is analyzed and the husband scrutinized. What surfaces is not a very happy scene. An adulterous husband; one child bordering on delinquency. And then there’s Cathy’s own flirtatious behaviour at work. A teacher who’s facing down his own personal demons. There are red flags everywhere on this case.

Winters is also drawn into a complex situation at his wife’s art gallery involving an employee who seems to have lost touch with reality. And Molly is in danger of being swept off her skis by a charming stranger she meets on the slopes. Even a small town like Trafalgar is not immune to the evils of the outside world with a large development project threatening to take over nearby property, much to the chagrin of Molly’s mom.

It the day-to-day stuff of community life that makes this murder seem even more obscene and for the police in this picturesque town in ski country, the ultimate challenge.

Vicki Delany is a prolific crime writer with two series (Const. Smith, and the Klondike series), mysteries for reluctant readers, and numerous stand-alones to her credit. And, she’s now embarking on yet another series, this one a cosy series set in the U.S.

It takes great writing skill to be able to produce top notch stories in so many different styles. Just as Molly has blossomed in her career as a cop, Delany has grown into a writer to be taken seriously, with mysterious tales to tell and an impressive way with words. She definitely should be on your bookshelves.

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