In the Shadow of the Glacier
A Molly Smith Mystery by Vicki Delany
Review: The first book in Vicki Delany's new series featuring Constable Molly Smith, In the Shadow of the Glacier, takes on a controversial subject that, after more than thirty years, is still alive for many today: the war in Vietnam.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 young men, in order to avoid the draft in the US during the Vietnam War, became draft dodgers and fled to Canada, leaving their homes and families in America. Some never returned, even though amnesty was offered. One draft dodger settled in the small mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia. He spent his life there, and when he died he left all of his land and money to the city, but only if it would used to create a beautiful garden to honor all draft dodgers. This idea split the normally close-knit city right in two. There were those who heartily supported the plan, and those who still felt draft dodgers were traitors to America. Reginald Montgomery, a building planner, was one of the chief opponents to the garden. He wanted to build a huge resort in Trafalgar, called the Grizzly Bear, which he said would bring in money for the city, make jobs, and welcome visitors and vacationers from both Canada and America. Now there is another division to this small town. Montgomery wants to build The Grizzly Bear on the grounds that are homes to the bears, deer, and other animals of the forest. The animal rights people are dead set against such a venture. Others feel this would be a great boon for their city. With so many of the town folk angry at Reg, it was no surprise to find him beaten over the head and left dead in a dark alley.
Detective Sergeant John Winters, newly transferred into Trafalgar, is assigned the case. Constable Molly Smith, born and raised in the city, is assigned as his assistant. But her interest in the case is not completely objective: her parents came to Trafalgar when her father dodged the draft. Molly, eager and fast to jump to conclusions, is a good counterpart to Winters, who is rather slow and methodical. After Smith makes it clear who's in charge, he eases up on Molly who has a hard time telling when he is serious or joking. Their banter becomes a joy to read. They interview Reg's widow, the local dentist, the shopkeepers, anyone known to oppose Reg's opposition to the garden, and anyone who opposed his plans for the Grizzly Bear. Getting no where, they even interview a local kid who stole Molly's locked bike from behind the police station. Though discouraged, as they begin to review their notes, they realize one of these peoples is a murderer.
In the Shadow of the Glacier is a terrific murder mystery replete with delightful characters and good humor; a very promising start to this new series. And anyone who lived through the era of the 1960s will undoubtedly smile when Molly's given name is revealed: Moonlight Legolas.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of In the Shadow of the Glacier.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of In the Shadow of the Glacier for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Valley of the Lost
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), February 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590585955; ISBN-10: 159058595X
Location(s) referenced in In the Shadow of the Glacier: Trafalgar, British Columbia
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In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany — A Molly Smith Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: October 2007
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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