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In the Shadow of the Glacier: 07/14/20

In the Shadow of the Glacier

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany is the start of the Constable Molly Smith mystery series. Set in fictional Trafalgar, British Columbia, it's two mysteries in one. The A plot mystery is the murder of a developer. The B plot is the rash of bicycle robberies, including the constable's.

Constable Moonshine "Molly" Smith discovers the body while on her beat. He's in the alley behind a local restaurant and kitty-corner from the tour agency her parents run. She expects to take lead on the investigation but someone else is brought in, a detective recently moved to the hinterland from Vancouver.

Meanwhile the town is beset with outside protestors, come at the beck and call of a conservative news host from the United States. Trafalgar was a safe haven for American draft dodgers. Now a fountain and park is to be built honoring them if the city council will approve it.

In the past I've only read Vicki Delany mysteries written for Americans, set in America. Sure, some Canadianisms bleed into her American mysteries, but this series is different. It's unabashedly Canadian. One of the phrases repeated by many characters is "...but we're in Canada..." whenever a visiting American forgets.

I liked the quirky Molly Smith. She's young, naive, opinionated, but dedicated. Her circumstances are similar to Brooklyn Wainright. She has a goofy name and hippy parents. The difference is that more thought has been put into Molly's backstory, including the repercussions for going into law enforcement.

This first volume is rough around the edges but the mysteries are entertaining. They're just the right mix of clues, red herrings, and general goofiness. This series isn't a cozy even with a female protagonist, but it has cozy elements.

The second book is Valley of the Lost (2009).

Five stars

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