A Cold White Sun: A Constable Molly Smith Mysteryby Vicki Delany
It’s the end of March and Trafalgar, British Columbia, is preparing for the last influx of the seasonal skiers. Teachers, parents, and students are preparing to relax at home or head off on vacation. But for high school English teacher Cathy Lindsay, the week of relaxation doesn’t work out as planned. She’s gunned down by a sniper on a hiking… See more details below
It’s the end of March and Trafalgar, British Columbia, is preparing for the last influx of the seasonal skiers. Teachers, parents, and students are preparing to relax at home or head off on vacation. But for high school English teacher Cathy Lindsay, the week of relaxation doesn’t work out as planned. She’s gunned down by a sniper on a hiking trail, her small dog the only witness.
Cathy Lindsay is an unlikely candidate for a murderous ambush: she was a respected teacher, in an apparently solid marriage to an Internet developer, living a quiet life. Sergeant John Winters, with the help of young Constable Molly Smith, digs into the Lindsay marriage and friendships, searching for a motive, but one thought continually niggles at the back of his mind: is it possible this was not a random killing but a case of mistaken identity?
"[T]he author’s quietly competent sketch of police work in a small town will keep readers turning the pages."—Publisher's Weekly
"The lack of motive for a high school teacher’s murder puzzles British Columbia officers Sergeant John Winters and Constable Molly Smith on their sixth case (after Among the Departed)."—Library Journal
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Life in Constable Molly Smith’s Trafalgar, BC, usually is tranquil, with lots of skiing in the winter and kayaking and hiking in the summer: a tourist’s haven. Except this particular winter witnesses the senseless murder of a high school English teacher, shot in the back while walking her dog. There are no witnesses and no evidence. It remains for Sgt. John Winters to follow up. Molly plays a minor role in this investigation, as opposed to previous entries in this series. The novel develops more as a study in character development, as the various persons inhabiting the resort town continue with their lives, while Winters frustratingly seeks the culprit. Attention is paid to Molly’s love life, as well as that of her mother, Lucky, widowed for a few years and keeping company with Molly’s boss, Superintendent Keller. The reader is given deep insight into the family of the murdered victim: a two-timing husband, a 10-year-old daughter and a disinterested teenage son. Then there is an employee of Winters’ wife, Eliza, who embarrassingly sees in various males the son she had to give away at birth. All the plots and sub-plots are melded artfully, keeping the pages turning swiftly. The characters are superbly drawn, and descriptions of town life well described. And the skiing scenes float by smoothly. The author moves between the various plotlines with ease, and the novel is recommended.
I love a good murder mystery and this book certainly fits the bill. It is the sixth book in the Molly Smith series. Molly is a police officer in her hometown of Trafalgar, British Colombia. Trafalgar is a resort community so there is a mix of permanent residents and vacationers making it a great setting for a murder mystery series since there is a reason for large numbers of strangers to be in town. There are several important characters (police) working to solve the murder. Friends and family members are also important to the story. Having multiple characters that are all well drawn and interesting gives a feel of realness to Trafalgar, British Colombia. I assume that many of these characters are in other books in the series. I hope so because I enjoyed the humor and warmth they add to the story. This is definitely a series I want to read more of. Cathy Lindsay is an English teacher at the local high school. She is married with two children. She is shot while taking her morning walk alone with her dog. She appears to have no enemies and no one can think of any reason why someone would want to kill her. Sergeant John Winters with the help of Constable Molly Smith and others investigate her life both at school and at home. Cracks appear in the marriage and one of the teachers Cathy worked with is acting strangely. Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.