In the Shadow of the Glacier is the book that launched Vicki Delany's Constable Molly Smith series. What a wonderful introduction to Smith, Detective Sergeant John Winters, and, most of all the slightly off-beat town of Trafalgar, British Columbia.
There are less than 10,000 people in Trafalgar, a town that welcomed draft dodgers from the United States during Vietnam, and still accepts young people who drift into town. But, the town is up in arms over two possible changes. Reg Montgomery and his business partner are planning the Grizzly Resort, a development some townspeople accept as necessary for jobs and tourism, while others view it as a desecration of the land. The other change is the proposed Commemorative Peace Garden, dedicated to Vietnam War protesters. Molly Smith's mother, and other sixties rebels, are up in arms, supporting the garden, and opposed to the resort.
When Constable Molly Smith finds Montgomery's body in an alley, she's asked to provide local background for Winters, a new addition to Trafalgar's police department, although he was in homicide in Toronto. Molly's thrilled to work on her first homicide case. She's not as thrilled to see her parents as torn apart by the town's troubles as the town itself.
Delany creates a vivid setting in Trafalgar. And, she skillfully combines a police procedural with a traditional mystery, set in a small town. Her police officers don't have the luxury of working just one case. They have their hands full with a murder investigation, stolen bikes, an American journalist who stirs up the town, and protests. And, Molly, a rookie, has to learn to cope with her job, and her personal life, as she watches her parents fight, and her best friend cope with a stalker.
In the Shadow of the Glacier is an outstanding introduction to a promising mystery series.
Vicki Delany's address is www.vickidelany.com
In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany. Poisoned Pen Press, ©2007. ISBN 9781590584484 (hardcover), 302p.