Monday, April 13, 2015
Under Cold Stone by Vicki Delany
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.