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In the Shadow of the Glacier Hardcover – Oct 15 2007

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CDN$ 40.83 CDN$ 0.04 First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (Oct. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590584481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590584484
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #842,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Delany's intriguing series opener introduces young constable Molly Smith, who almost literally stumbles across a rare murder victim in peaceful Trafalgar, British Columbia. The deceased, Reg Montgomery, was a widely distrusted newcomer planning to develop a luxury resort outside the town, making for a long list of suspects. The community is further divided by Smith's mother's plans for a public memorial to American draft resisters who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War. Struggling to recover from the death of her husband, build a career on the force and win the approval of her hippie parents and hard-edged Sgt. John Winters, newly arrived from Vancouver with his own set of personal problems, Smith throws herself into solving the case. Delany (Burden of Memory) carefully sets up the conflicts, resolving most but not all in anticipation of the next assignment, and begins what looks to be some extensive character development for the otherwise archetypal Winters and Smith. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After the murder of developer Reginald Montgomery, rookie constable Molly "Moonlight" Smith is partnered with Sergeant John Winters because of her knowledge of the people and local politics in her hometown of Trafalgar, British Columbia. Although Molly is delighted with her assignment, former Vancouver cop Winters is less enthusiastic. Montgomery opposed the proposed Commemorative Peace Garden, which was to honor Vietnam War draft dodgers, believing it would be bad for business. In addition, he was in the process of financing the Grizzly Resort, which many local residents opposed on environmental grounds. Curiously, Montgomery's wife seems strangely unaffected by his death. Molly and Winters investigate while surrounded by protesters on both sides of the peace-garden issue. Complicating matters, Molly's former-hippie mother is an outspoken advocate of the pro–peace garden position. An unlikely police officer but a likable lead character, Molly shows her mettle in this initial offering in a promising series set in the Canadian wilderness. O'Brien, Sue

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am having a hard time deciding on my opinion of this book. I have read all of Vicki Delaney's Klondike series and for the most part found them enjoyable reads with some faults that I have discussed in my reviews of them and having read all the glowing reviews of the Molly Smith series I was anticipating the same satisfying reading. However I just didn't quite get that in this book. It's hard to like a book when one of the MCs comes across as unlikeable but it really takes a large stretch to like a book when both of the MCs are unlikeable and I sure didn't find much to like about Molly Smith or John Winters. Molly is just plainly too dumb, insubordinate and lost in the investigation and John is just too lost in the past and only interested in Eliza! I mean the storyline was OK if a bit prejudiced against the Americans and the conclusion was pretty obvious fairly early in the book even though it was unveiled by too many completely improbable happenings!
I really wanted to include Vicki Delany up on my list of favourite Canadian Female authors including Louise Penny, Barbara Fradkin and Mary Jane Moffini but I don't think I can and perhaps I only liked the Klondike series because of the setting. I have acquired some more books in this series but they aren't listed as priority reads on my very long TBR list. I think I'll probably try a Vicki Delany standalone or whatever before any more of this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beth on Jan. 23 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy to read, nice local atmosphere, good characters, enjoyable. Although almost a 'cozy' it still was evocative of the area and enough police info to appear realistic. I will be reading more and hope they are similar in writing.
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By Ed Duplissie on March 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun, enjoyable mystery story. Even better the series is written by a Canadian. Purchased all the books in the series after reading this one. I sure hope the Kindle people are working on doing a better job of editing the books they offer for sale on Kindle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 42 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Good Debut Jan. 20 2008
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In the Shadow of the Glacier is a good, quick read. It is the first in what the author expects to be a mystery series featuring her main character, Constable Molly Smith of the Trafalgar, British Columbia Police Department.

Although the town of Trafalgar is fictitious, the general setting, an important element in the story, is not. The Kootenay Mountain region of southeastern British Columbia became a haven for draft dodgers, resisters, and deserters of the American military back in the era of the Vietnam War. Trafalgar, like many of the real towns in this part of BC, took these people in without much question, and many chose to remain and create new lives for themselves, even after the offer of a Presidential pardon. When one of the more successful of this particular group passes away, he bequeaths land and money to the town of Trafalgar to establish a garden commemorating the area's population of draft resisters. This controversial bequest is in conflict with the plans of a local developer who wishes to build a large-scale international-style resort. He worries that many Americans will find the sentiments of the garden, and perhaps therefore those of the townspeople, offensive, and that his project may not be a success. Opposing factions form; should the town remain true to its 1960's hippie roots or is it time to move on and bring in some new and bigger money? When the developer is found murdered in a back alley, questions and accusations fly. Rookie Constable Molly Smith is called into the investigation alongside Detective Sergeant John Winters, a veteran of the Vancouver Police Department.

The case picks up international attention via a Fox Network-style news reporter who arrives in Trafalgar, intent on escalating the situation. There are several sub-plots at work as well. One involves Molly's mother, a long-time activist from the 60's, who is deeply involved in the garden memorial. Another concerns Molly's friend Christa, who is stalked and subsequently assaulted, leaving Molly to feel that through her inattentiveness, she has let her friend down.

Delany handles all this material well. The writing is sharp and fast-paced, making the reader feel the stress and pressure under which the police must work to solve the crimes. The characters all have substance. The author provides background on each of the key players and we are able to form a clear picture of them and their motivations. Initially, I found that Delany dropped the names of the various characters a bit too fast and furiously and thought it difficult to follow the thread of the story. That fell into place soon enough and the plot progressed well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book--a good debut for Ms. Delany's planned series.

by Janet Caplan
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Different and Fun Aug. 12 2011
By Wendy Kaplan - Published on
Format: Paperback
This first in what I hope is to be a long series about bucolic, hippie dippie Trafalgar, British Columbia, is simply a delight. Although it starts a bit slow, it soon picks up as we learn the ins and outs of the very outspoken townspeople, and get to know our heroine, rookie constable Molly Smith, aka "Moonlight," so named by her "stuck in the 60s" mother.

Told with gentle humor and obvious love and respect for the characters, this murder mystery unfolds with tension so subtle, that the reader is drawn in and holding his breath without even realizing it! Seemingly mundane in nature (a loved-hated developer, who has a lot of opposition in Trafalgar, is found brutally murdered and everybody and nobody is the suspect), the plot proverbially thickens until just about everybody is a suspect.

I just loved the combination of love and humor Delany uses when describing Molly's over-the-top mother and other hippies who don't know what year it is--having lived in that generation, I could relate!

Excellent novel; on to the next!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Aug. 22 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The storyline is interesting in this book, however there are many odd sentences. The author throws in some gratuitous sexual remarks and language at moments in the book where they are unnecessary and inappropriate. This is coupled with many editorial errors: Improper sentence structure, fragmented sentences, misspelled words, and even word confusion (for instance the author uses parental grandfather instead of paternal when referencing the character's grandfather on her father's side of the family, there are several other word confusions).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
War or Peace Nov. 8 2007
By Ted Feit - Published on
Format: Hardcover
During the Vietnam War there were men of draft age who fled to Canada to avoid serving in the army. In this novel, Trafalgar, British Columbia, is characterized as a center of such settlement, and apparently will be the site of a new series featuring Constable Moonlight ("Molly") Smith.

One such draft evader who prospered north of the border upon his death bequeathed his land to the town for a garden to be dedicated to honor draft dodgers, thus setting the stage for conflicts between the "peaceniks" and their opposites, especially businesses fearing antagonizing U.S. tourists upon whom they were dependent. One opposed to the garden was the developer of a proposed luxury resort who is found by Molly dead, presumably murdered, in an alley.

Molly is but a lowly beat cop, but she is assigned to assist Detective Sergeant John Winters in his investigation of the death. Further trouble is fomented by a TV personality and outside agitators. Winters and Smith continue seeking clues. While he resents her presence, he teaches and she learns. The DS has his own fears haunting him, which caused him to leave the Vancouver police department for the small town, and these are increased by the frustration of not solving the case quickly.

The author has a way of coming up with unusual themes, and this novel certainly lives up to this ability. In addition, the descriptions of the small town, its citizens and environment are handled exceptionally well. It is a good, solid mystery.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the books in this series May 19 2011
By Cathy G. Cole - Published on
Format: Paperback
First Line: People were of two minds about Reginald ("Call me Reg") Montgomery.

It's not easy having a name like Moonlight Legolas Smith-- and having a brother named Samwise-- but that's what happens when you're born to two hippies who came to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. Moonlight is used to it, and prefers being called Molly, thank you very much. She's a new beat cop in small town Trafalgar, British Columbia, and although her choice of occupation doesn't please her parents, it pleases her. She wants to do her best and work her way up the ladder.

It's not going to be easy, especially since one of the big names in town, Reginald Montgomery, has been found murdered. Reg was in Trafalgar to build a huge resort and take his chunk out of the area's tourism dollar. Half the town applauds the chance at added revenue, the other half hates the whole idea because of the probable impact on the environment.

The case is made more complicated by two things. One, due to a shortage of manpower, Molly is assigned to assist veteran Detective Sergeant John Winters in the investigation, and Winters makes no secret of the fact that he doesn't want her rookie help. Two, Reg's death has brought into the spotlight the fact that money and land have been left to the town to build a garden to honor draft dodgers-- and Molly's activist mother is at the forefront of those supporting the controversial memorial.

I dove into this book headfirst and almost didn't come up for air. Superficially, Molly doesn't seem to be likely law enforcement material. She's pretty, "too pretty to make an effective officer. Her voice was soft-- it would have a problem carrying authority--and had the unfortunate tendency to crack under stress." What she does have is intelligence and desire.

The teaming of Smith and Winters is perfect. Here we have a veteran cop from a big city who wants nothing to do with a young female rookie cop. It's all too easy for him to see all the negatives. But he just happens to be married to a former super model who's a canny businesswoman. Eliza Winters helps keep her husband from being permanently narrow-minded.

Although the murderer was rather transparent to me, the motivations weren't. Besides, there were so many well-drawn characters and such a well-paced plot that I didn't care. The media converging on the town whips the action into high gear, and the riot scene in particular held me in thrall. The book has so many interesting facets that I'm just scratching the surface in this review.

It's going to be very interesting to follow young Molly's path in the Trafalgar police force, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in this series.