Tuesday, July 15, 2014
MYSTERY REVIEW - UNDER COLD STONE
by Vicki Delany
Poisoned Pen Press
This review will be biased as I always look forward to the latest book in the Constable Molly Smith series and am in a very good mood when I get my mitts on it. Vicki Delany has managed to hold my attention through six previous novels and she didn’t let me down this time.
The central characters in this excellent British Columbia-based police procedural series are Constable Molly (Moonbeam) Smith and Sergeant John Winters of the Trafalgar police, but Molly’s mother, Lucky Smith, adds verve and humour to each book. Lucky is my favourite character in a crowd of major contenders. Lucky’s hippy leanings and environmental activism have been at odds with her daughter’s choice of career and have made the young officer’s life more difficult than it needed to be. They’ve also given the reader much enjoyment. Lucky’s full of surprises though and the latest one is her deepening relationship with the Chief of Police, Paul Keller, despite their differences over, well, practically everything.
Their romantic Thanksgiving getaway to Banff Springs Hotel goes off the rails when Paul’s estranged son, Matt, becomes connected to a murder and the subject of a manhunt. But Lucky also has a connection to Matt and it’s not a good one.
Meanwhile Molly is trying her hand at making her fiancé a traditional Thanksgiving meal with hilarious results. Next to that, solving crimes looks easy. Good thing, because Molly is soon on her way to help her mother and the resulting search in the back country makes for gripping reading. Once again, Delany uses the setting to enhance a strong plot. The relationships are deep, interesting and unpredictable throughout this series. Molly continues to grow and develop as a police officer.
Vicki Delany never fails to deliver strong female characters who don’t shy away from conflict or danger. She does a great job of exploring family bonds and conflict with characters you care about. No wonder I stayed up half the night.
Reviewed by Mary Jane Maffini
As half of the writing team Victoria Abbott,
The Wolfe Widow, #3 in the Book Collector Mysteries,
is coming in Sept., 2014.