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Monday, April 13, 2015

Under Cold Stone by Vicki Delany

Another series caught up!  I am very pleased with my progress this year in my goal of catching up on several mystery series that I had fallen behind reading.  For me, sometimes it just takes a little focus and a little planning to accomplish this.  I do like reading mystery series, but I also enjoy non-series books and so it's a juggling act.

Under Cold Stone is the 7th and latest book in Vicki Delany's Constable Molly Smith series.  It takes place, for the most part, outside of Trafalger, British Columbia and instead sets us down in the lovely town of Banff, Alberta.  You can see an artist's rendering of the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel on the cover.   And again, the setting plays a big part in the narrative from that gorgeous and expensive hotel to other local sights.  I loved it. I listened to this book and it was read by Carrington MacDuffie.

Molly Smith's mother, Lucky, is dating Molly's boss, Chief Constable Paul Keller, which has been a bit disconcerting for all of them.  However, time has passed and now that Molly herself is engaged to RCMP Officer Adam Tocek, she is looking more favorably on the situation.  It's Thanksgiving time, which is in October in Canada, and Lucky and Paul are on a short vacation to Banff.

Lucky gets into an altercation at a local coffee shop with two very rude young men, which upsets her day.  All she was asking was that they respect the fact that there was a line and wait their turn.  One of the men shoves her to the ground and it seems no one notices.  The next day, Lucky and Paul run across the same two men in a restaurant and to Lucky's horror, one of the men turns out to be Paul Keller's estranged son, Matt.  It doesn't seem like the estrangement will get any better after Paul shouts at his son for his companion's treatment of Lucky, but later that night, Matt phones his father and tells him he's just discovered the body of one of his roommates.  Paul tells Matt to call the police, but instead, Matt disappears and is then suspected of the murder by the local police.

Meanwhile, back in Trafalger, Molly Smith is trying to figure out how to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for Adam and herself.  She receives a call from Lucky telling her of Matt's appearance and subsequent disappearance.  Molly had been in high school with Matt and offers to come to Banff to support Lucky and her chief.  Detective Sergeant John Winters has been left in charge while Paul Keller is on his little vacation and he had hoped for a quiet holiday time.  Unfortunately, that is not the case when protests begin against a company that is building a resort community in the area.  Trouble is popping up all over and eventually the murder and the protests are determined to be somewhat connected.  And things get complicated.

As I've said before, I love the setting of British Columbia that this author uses for her series.  And, in this book, she takes us to another part of Canada that I would also love to visit - Banff.  Sigh.  One day.  It was quite interesting to have Molly and company in another location.  The hotel sounded lovely and the author brought out the dilemma of a lot of resort towns - where can the staff of the pricey hotels and restaurants afford to live.  Various other tourist spots are mentioned and, of course, I had to go look them up.  I was also glad to see that Trafalger and John Winters, Adam Tocek, and Norman, the police dog, were not left out.  The mystery itself was not all that difficult to unravel, but I enjoyed visiting with the characters again.

Vicki Delany has a new cozy series going.  It's written under the name of Eva Gates and the first book, By Book or By Crook, was published recently.  I'm not sure when she will get back to Molly and Trafalger, but I'll be waiting.  

19 comments:

  1. I'm never good in following series books diligently; partly I've too many to follow plus standalone books are another great distraction, ha. That said, I've not read anything by this author so I'll have to check out her books.

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    1. It takes a bit of work to continue on with several series, doesn't it? I like the story never ending though and so I try to do it when I can.

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  2. The British Columbia setting would appeal to me, too. I think I could spend six months reading nothing but series and still never catch up, lol!

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    1. I hear you, JoAnn. Totally agree.

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  3. I'm trying to avoid starting new series till I catch up with ones I'm already reading, but I've heard so many good things about this one, and having family in BC makes the setting particularly tempting...

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    1. I laughed at your aim of not starting a new series until you are caught up with current ones. I've said that so many times to myself. Have not ever accomplished it though. LOL

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  4. I don't think I'm caught up on any series these days. I'm not even familiar with this one. Kudos to you for being caught up!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I think I've actually caught up on 3 or 4 series so far this year. More to go. :-)

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  5. I liked this one, too. I enjoy this series, but I know what you mean about keeping caught up. I am caught up on this one, but there are several other series that I need to work on.

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    1. Isn't that always the way? I'm still wondering how soon she'll have another Molly book.

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  6. This is the one I read! I really enjoyed it though I hadn't read any of the others in the series. I love the setting and it was a nice little break from the usual. You've got me excited about going back and reading more of this series!

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    1. Yes, the setting is a unique one and it was a big part of my enjoyment as well.

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  7. I've really enjoyed reading your reviews of the books in this series. I'm still waiting for the first book in the series from the library. The setting sounds gorgeous.

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    1. The setting is a big part. Hope you enjoy #1 when it arrives.

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  8. You are doing so well with your series' reading, Kay! This does sound like a good series.

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    1. I am doing well this year. Still hoping to catch up on a few more.

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  9. This series appeals to me so much since I used to live in Canada. We lived north of Banff, in a small town called Valleyview (in Alberta). My parents have been to Banff, but I've never been. Ever since I saw a gorgeous photograph of Lake Louise, I've wanted to go. Someday!! Until then, I'll just have to read this series.

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    1. I want to go too. I'd really love to take the train from Banff to Vancouver/Victoria. Gorgeous scenery. Like you say - someday.

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    2. I've always wanted to take that train trip, too, Kay!

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!