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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Small Town Setting the Only Appealing Piece of Canadian Mystery


With a population of less than 10,000 people, Trafalgar, B.C. is not exactly a hub of criminal activity.  Yes, the town's divided over the issue of whether or not to build a community peace garden honoring the area's Vietnam War draft dodgers.  The conflict has caused tension in the bucolic community, sure, but it's not like someone would kill over it.  Or would they?  When Reg Montgomery—an overbearing developer who's bent on building a large resort on the community garden land—is murdered, it looks like tempers over the polarizing issue have finally blown up. 

Because she knows Trafalgar, 26-year-old Moonlight "Molly" Smith is assigned to the case.  A constable who's only been with the police department for six months, she's ecstatic about this fortuitous opportunity to prove herself.  John Winters, a seasoned detective sergeant from Vancouver, is not exactly thrilled with his new partner.  Molly's green, overeager, and not exactly objective, considering her mother is the peace garden's most ardent supporter.  

As the duo investigates Montgomery's murder, they must dig deep into the town's secrets, which produces some shocking—and nasty—surprises.  The more they nose around, the more dangerous the situation becomes.  Can Smith and Montgomery find the killer before one, or both of them, become the next victim(s)?  

Mystery series set in small towns are my very favorite kind.  I always love to see what these quaint little communities are hiding, the secrets they keep hidden behind their peaceful facades.  Naturally, then, I found the setting of In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany, appealing.  Unfortunately, that's about all I liked about this book.  Not only are the characters flat and clichéd, but they're just not likable.  Most of the men are, quite simply, jerks.  The novel's plot offers nothing new, which makes it both predictable and dull.  Add a whole lot of typos/errors, bland prose, sloppy story construction, stiff dialogue and, yeah, you can see where I'm going with this.  I only paid a couple bucks to get In the Shadow of the Glacier on my Kindle, but man, what a waste of 200 pennies.  

(Readalikes:  The setting reminds me of Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series—definitely read that one instead of this one.)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of In the Shadow of the Glacier with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

5 comments:

  1. Oh man, sorry this one was a letdown. I like mysteries in a small town too. Stephan King is great at them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. That's true. I used to read TONS of King. No one does creepy small towns quite like him :)

      Delete
  2. Hmmm....I suspect you probably got the recommendation from me. Maybe not. However, sorry it didn't work for you. As you know, I do like this series, but not ever book...and all that. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember if I got the rec from you or from Googling "mysteries set in small towns." No worries if it came from you. Different strokes for different folks. You rarely steer me wrong, though -- I always trust and value your opinion :)

      Delete

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Homecoming by Kate Morton

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